TTV Dinakaran, the deputy general secretary of AIADMK and nephew of VK Sasikala, will contest the bypoll from RK Nagar, the AIADMK announced Wednesday. The constituency fell vacant after the death of chief minister J Jayalalithaa in December last year. Dinakaran has been leading the party in the absence of jailed interim general secretary Sasikala, imprisoned in the Disproportionate Assets case. The bypoll is scheduled for April 12.
The Indian Express had reported that the ruling party faces dissension within its ranks and that Dinakaran’s candidature in the bypoll in the prestigious seat could be suicidal. The DMK feels confident of its chances in the seat.
On the other hand, the O Panneerselvam faction of the AIADMK might field party’s former presidium chairman Madhusudanan in the fray. There are also reports that the OPS faction has gone to the Election Commission to seek claim for the ‘two leaves’ symbol of the party. Jayalalithaa’s niece has also started campaigning in the seat and might offer support for the OPS faction.
In the 2016 election, Jayalalithaa had contested from RK Nagar and went on to defeat the DMK candidate Shimla Muthuchozhan by nearly 40,000 votes. The late chief minister had also won a bypoll in the seat in 2015.