Jayalalithaa's 'coffin' used to canvass for votes: PIL filed against OPS ally K Pandiarajan
A PIL was filed against AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) faction & its leader K Pandiarajan for using a statue of J Jayalalithaa to campaign for votes.
Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam, who was found using a statue of former AIADMK party leader J Jayalalithaa – decked up in a coffin – to campaign for votes ahead of the RK Nagar byelection, is now finding himself in a sea of trouble. An FIR was filed against the AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) faction and its leader, K Pandiarajan, for the stunt he pulled last week.
According to a report in India Today, the statue was being used in a mock funeral organised by the Panneerselvam camp, both to campaign for votes and stress upon the need to probe into the death of the five-time chief minister of Tamil Nadu. But, after members of the rival Sasikala faction pelted them with stones, the coffin bearing supporters had to beat a hasty retreat.
A spokesperson for Panneerselvam's faction said their members were injured in the stone attack. The party's candidate for the RK Nagar bypoll was E Madhusudhan.
The statue-bearing supporters said if that if Madhusudhan clinches the bypoll win, he will order a thorough investigation into Jayalalithaa's death. They even chose an election symbol of an electric light poll, with the bulbs designed in such a way that it looks just like a sapling, which was the symbol of the erstwhile AIADMK party under Jayalalithaa.
As written in an earlier Firstpost article, the jeep carrying the coffin made its way through the lanes and bylanes of RK Nagar constituency, while party leader Azhagu Thamilselvi told voters that Jayalalithaa herself has come demanding justice.
"It is an attempt to repackage the conspiracy theory that Team OPS has been belting out from day one. That Sasikala had a hand in Jayalalithaa's death and that others were prevented from meeting the former chief minister. The Panneerselvam camp obviously must have felt that Jayalalithaa's body would add the emotional quotient to the conspiracy pitch. The presence of former education minister K Pandiarajan atop the jeep means the coffin idea must have been cleared at the highest level in the Panneerselvam camp," wrote TS Sudhir.
Jayalalithaa died on 5 December, 2016, following a lengthy 75-day hospital stay. Rival factions have battled ever since to seek complete control of AIADMK, with one led by Sasikala and the other by O Panneerselvam, forming separate parties unto themselves — AIADMK (Amma) and AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) respectively.
RK Nagar bypoll result updates: TTV Dhinakaran wins by over 40,000 votes; supporters celebrate victory
After a record voter turnout of 77.68 percent on Thursday, the counting of votes for the high-profile RK Nagar Assembly seat will take place on Sunday.
RK Nagar bypoll: TTV Dhinakaran drubs AIADMK's E Madhusudhanan by 40,000 votes, wins J Jayalalithaa's former seat
The by-election for former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s Assembly seat saw not her party candidate, but her aide VK Sasikala's nephew and Independent candidate TTV Dhinakaran winning the contest. Dhinakaran won by 40,707 votes. While he polled 89,013 votes, the AIADMK candidate Madhusudhanan secured 48,306 votes. The DMK’s Maruthu Ganesh came third with 24,651 votes.
If there is one thing Dhinakaran's victory has confirmed, it is that the EPS-OPS government's expiry date is nearing. Since February, when EPS won the trust vote managed by keeping MLAs in captivity at the resort outside Chennai, the government has not faced an electoral test. RK Nagar was therefore seen as a mini-referendum on how the people of Tamil Nadu, more so in the state capital, perceived their government. The result shows EPS and OPS have failed the test.