Ousted All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader TTV Dinakaran won the bye-election in Chennai’s Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly constituency on Sunday by a margin of 40,707 votes, The Hindu reported. Dinakaran contested the elections as an independent.
Dinakaran received 89,013 votes, while AIADMK candidate E Madhusudhanan got 48,306 votes. The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s N Marudhu Ganesh forfeited his deposit, winning only 24,651 votes, News18 reported. More people opted for the None of The Above option – 2,373 votes – than the Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate Karu Nagarajan, who polled only 1,417 votes.
“It is a victory for all,” Dinakaran told reporters after the final tally. “This government will not be here for two more months. Two leaves symbol was a victory symbol when it was with Amma [Jayalalithaa]. But now it’s with the villains, how can they win.”
Earlier, as he looked set for a victory, Dinakaran visited the memorial of former Chief Minister MG Ramachandran at the Marina beach in Chennai and paid floral tributes on the occasion of the AIADMK founder’s 30th death anniversary. He also visited Jayalalithaa’s memorial.
“We are the true AIADMK...people of RK Nagar have elected Amma’s successor,” Dinakaran told reporters, according to News18.
Earlier on Sunday, counting was briefly suspended after ruckus at the counting centre. Madhusudhanan’s supporters clashed with those of Dinakaran after poll officials said the latter was leading.
Dinakaran thanked his supporters for their votes after trends indicated his victory, and said he has Amma’s wishes. “I firmly believe that it is time for this government to go, and in the coming three months you will see this government go,” he told reporters in Madurai.
A voter turnout of 73.5% was recorded on the polling day on Thursday.
Security was beefed up in various parts of Chennai ahead of the counting, The Hindu reported. There will be 19 rounds of counting at Queen Mary’s College, and each round is likely to be completed in 15-20 minutes.
The RK Nagar seat fell vacant after its MLA, former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, died in 2016. The run-up to the polls had the Election Commission on its toes to prevent contesting parties from bribing voters. The bye-election was earlier scheduled for April but was cancelled after complaints that cash was being distributed among voters.