Day After Big RK Nagar Loss, AIADMK Expels 6 Dhinakaran Loyalists

Dinakaran supporters celebrate outside his residence

Madhusudhanan polled 48,306 votes. Dinakaran, who contested as an independent candidate on the pressure cooker symbol polled 89,013 votes to route AIADMK's E Madhusudhanan by a margin of over 40,000 votes. All the other candidates including the DMK's N Marudhuganesh forfeited their deposits.

The bypoll held on December 21 had seen a record 77.68% voter turnout. Incidentally, NOTA (None of The Above) pipped BJP candidate Karu Nagarajan, as 2,203 voters preferred it to the saffron party's candidate who only received 1,236 votes. So, it is clear that residents of RK Nagar have a clear understanding of the politics in the state and are not voting just because of the "Two leaves" symbol or the party name. He recalled how he had predicted this victory despite the AIADMK candidate Madhusudhanan enjoying support of the state government, the Centre and the Election Commission.

Counting of votes began sharp at 8 am at Queen Mary's college in Chennai.

For Dhinakaran, who lost the Two Leaves election symbol to AIADMK following merger of factions led by Palaniswami and former rebel O Panneerselvam, the bypoll success will give him another chance to claim that he represent the welfare legacy of Jayalalithaa. "Will the people vote if it is handed over to MN Nambiar and PS Veerappa", he asked, amidst chuckles from his supporters. "We are the true AIADMK", declared Mr Dhinakaran, who is the nephew of VK Sasikala, in jail over corruption charges.

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Now the NDA government enjoys the support of 13 MPs from AIADMK and other parties such as JD (U), TRS and YSR Congress, which is crucial for the ruling front to push contentious bills.

Since the death last December of J Jayalalithaa, the AIADMK's powerful boss, its legislators have scurried from one camp to another amid a massive leadership vaccuum.

The result of the by-election to late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa's constituency, Radhakrishnan Nagar - popularly known as RK Nagar - in Chennai, will be out by Sunday evening.

Currently, the numbers show Dhinakaran at 15,868 votes, the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) is at 7,033 and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is third at 3,691.

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