Sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran's margin further widened over that of his rivals by 8,000 plus votes at the end of third round of counting of votes for the RK Nagar bypoll here. DMK candidate N Maruthu Ganesh got 24,651 votes, while BJP's Karu Nagarajan amassed 1417 votes. The seat of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa went to polls on Thursday with a record 77 percent voter turnout.
Dhinakaran got 89,013 votes while Madhusudhanan polled 48,306 votes. RK Nagar, represented twice by Jayalalithaa, has an electorate of 2,28,234, comprising 1,10,903 men, 1,17,232 women and 99 transgenders. His sucessor Dhinakaran has secured 50.32% of the total votes. "People of RK Nagar have elected Amma's (Jayalalithaa's) successor", said Dinakaran.
The bypoll was necessitated after the death of former chief minister Jayalalithaa past year in December and is speculated to be the litmus test for the leadership of E Panneerselvam.More news: Houthi missile fired towards Riyadh intercepted by Saudis
Taking many by shock, TTV Dinakaran, Sasikala's nephew and close aide, is heading towards a massive victory giving his peers - E Palaniswamy & O Panneerselvam-led AIADMK, Stalin-led DMK, BJP and others - a huge blow.
During the counting that began 8 am at Queen Mary's College here, Dhinakaran kept a comfortable lead over his rival. While Madhusudhanan has contested on "two-leaves" symbol of AIADMK, independent Dinakaran contested on "pressure-cooker" symbol. This round of voting was also not devoid of controversy.