By Devika Bedi
Ever since Jayalalithaa passed away in December last year, her seat in Chennai’s RK Nagar assembly constituency has fallen vacant. In the recent by-elections, TTV Dinakaran emerged victorious, by securing 89,013 votes. With a gracious margin of 40,707 votes, after nineteen rounds of counting, Dinakaran surpassed Jayalalithaa’s record of 2016, when she won by a margin of 39,545 votes.
Aftermath of the result
Independent candidate TTV Dhinakaran, who was sidelined from the AIADMK by the E Palaniswami and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam (EPS-OPS) faction, has declared himself as the “true political heir” of the late J Jayalalithaa. He fought as an independent candidate as the EPS-OPS duo fielded Madhusudhanan as their candidate and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) fielded N Maruthu Ganesh. In a battle fought to win the lineage of Jayalalithaa, the electoral verdict has been able to sideline two major political parties- DMK and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) in Tamil Nadu. “It’s a victory for all. This government will not be here for two more months. Two leaves symbol was a victory symbol when it was with Amma. Now it’s with villains. How can they win?” he asks, adding, “Whatever I had said has happened. Wait for a couple of months.” said TTV Dinakaran after his win.
Election marred by controversy
The Election Commission (EC) had previously cancelled the polls which were supposed to be held on April 12 earlier this year on charges of extensive voter bribery and other irregularities. Saying that the elections had been “seriously vitiated on account of unlawful activities of the candidates and political parties and their workers by bribing the electors and unlawfully inducing them by offering money and other gifts of consumable items to woo them in their favor”, the Election Commission had cancelled the schedule. Nominations of actor Vishal and Deepa Jayakumar, Jayalalithaa’s niece had been earlier cancelled by the EC sighting absence of signatures on affidavits and discrepancies in forms respectively. AIADMK was accused of being in close association with the EC and pushing its influence as the ruling party in the state.
“The situation in RK Nagar shows the high-handedness of the ruling government. The EC should immediately take action on this issue. This incident shows that the returning officer will act only as per the ruling government. EC should intervene. In light of Tuesday’s (December 5) event, the returning officer should be transferred,” MK Stalin, DMK working president had said.
Speaking to reporters, Dinakaran has shown confidence that the ruling government will dissolve and die on its own “within three months” without employing any strategies himself. “People do not want this government to continue,” he said sighting the ruling government of AIADMK. Dinakaran went ahead to release a video on eve of the by-election showing Jayalalithaa in the hospital few days before she expired. The video had a lasting impact and the elections saw 77% turnout.
Experts claim that Dinakaran might be shining star on the similar lines of Jayalalithaa after beating AIADMK’s E Madhusudhan who got 48,306 votes and pushing the opposition DMK (who lost its deposit by 24,651 votes) to the third position. Where some say people have chosen the alternative between the two major parties, others claim that this has by and large been an anti-Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) vote. However, Congress and DMK should have profited, had this truly been against BJP. The politics of Tamil Nadu, that is mired in corruption and unethical practices may be at crossroads of a new post-Jayalalithaa era.
Featured Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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