November 24, 2017
Image credit : Illustrative Image
A day after the Election Commission granted two leaves symbol to AIADMK led by EPS-OPS combine, it ordered bypoll to RK Nagar assembly, lying vacant since death of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa in December last year.
The EC made the bye poll announcement in Delhi on Friday. The poll body said by-election for assembly constituencies in Arunachal Pradesh (Pakke Kasang, Likabali), Uttar Pradesh (Sikandra) and West Bengal (Sabang) will also be held on December 21.
According to the poll body, the last date for filing of nomination is4.12.2017 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is 7.12.2017 and counting of votes will be on 24.12.2017. Polling would be held on December 21.
Jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala’s nephew TTV Dinakaran lost no time in announcing his candidature for the bypoll from RK Nagar. Announcing this, he said, “two leaves symbol has been obtained by EPS-OPS by begging the central government. Though this is a temporary setback, two leaves will be retrieved and EPS-OPS camp will be trounced in RK Nagar.”
Though the by-election was earlier scheduled for April 12, 2017, it was countermanded following reports of voter bribing by a candidate – Dinakaran who was fielded by AIADMK then led by Sasikala with EPS as the chief minister. But this arrangement soon broke down and EPS went along with OPS.
“We will win the by-election with huge margin and prove that we are truly the successors of late Chief Minister and party leader J.Jayalalithaa,” a former MP and spokesperson of the EPS-OPS faction KC Palaniswamy said. In April VK Sadikala’s nephew TTV Dinakaran was fielded by AIADMK against senior leader E Madhusudanan by OPS camp.
Later on even the Sasikala led faction split into two with EPS merging with OPS. This group will against field Madhusudanan, sources said.
TNCC chief told press reporters that it will be a major test for the ruling AIADMK party. This will be the first election to be faced by the AIADMK government after the death of Jayalalithaa and also after it got the `two leaves’ symbol, he said and added the Congress will back the DMK.
The Tamil Nadu BJP Chief Tamilisai Soundararajan said a decision to contest or not will be taken after consultations within the party. Last time, BJP had fielded music director Gangai Amaran as its candidate.
J.Deepa, niece of Jayalalithaa too jumped into the electoral fray last time forming MGR Amma Deepa Forum. But she is nowhere to be seen now.
Dinakaran had earlier said he would contest in the by-election whenever it is held.