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RK Nagar Bypoll updates: 77 percent voter turnout recorded; TTV Dhinakaran says doesn't believe in exit polls

The high stakes bypoll in RK Nagar constituency is all set to take place on Thursday. The seat, which was twice represented by former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, fell vacant upon her death on 5 December 2016.

FP Staff December 21, 2017 20:05:43 IST
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RK Nagar Bypoll updates: 77 percent voter turnout recorded; TTV Dhinakaran says doesn't believe in exit polls

Highlights

14:24 (ist)

2G Spectrum verdict may be a shot in the arm for the DMK

With DMK leaders A Raja and Kanimozhi being acquitted in the 2G spectrum scam, the political fortunes of the DMK might improve in the future, claimed a News18 report. The judicial win on Thursday is also likely to pave way for a strong performance in the 2019 Lok Sabha and the 2021 Assembly polls.

“Now, Modi can go and ally with DMK in Tamil Nadu,” was one of the WhatsApp message doing the rounds right now, the report said. 

The verdict is also likely to boost the chances of the DMK in the RK Nagar bypoll. Speaking to News18, Manu Sundaram said, "It’s not an election issue for this constituency per se, but the verdict vindicated our party’s stand and reaffirmed all that the party has said about the case — that the real scam was to have ever called this a scam for political gains."

13:21 (ist)

RK Nagar bypoll announcement came after Madras HC's order

The announcement came days after the Madras High Court said it expected the EC to hold by-election in RK Nagar by 31 December. Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar made the observation on a plea of a DMK leader RS Bharathi.

13:06 (ist)

Ruckus over 'cash distribution' resurfaces as Rs 13 lakh seized in Korukkupet

Election officials on Saturday seized Rs 13 lakh from a premise in bypoll-bound RK Nagar which witnessed chaotic scenes with some men accused of trying to distribute cash to voters being chased by police and DMK cadres.

On Saturday, in locations including Korukkupet at RK Nagar allegations of cash distribution were made against some men, whose identity was not known immediately.

PTI

12:40 (ist)

Day before RK Nagar bypoll, AIADMK's Dhinakaran camp releases footage of Jayalalithaa in Apollo Hospital

A day before by-elections are to be held in RK Nagar, the one-time constituency of late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa, a video has been released purportedly showing the former AIADMK chief spending her last days in Chennai's Apollo Hospital.

The video has been released by the TTV Dhinakaran-VK Sasikala camp of the AIADMK party, and comes at the end of what has been a very bitter electoral campaign battle for the prestigious Assembly constituency in north Chennai.

09:21 (ist)

Heavy surveillance in high profile constituency   

RK Nagar has an electorate of 2,28,234, comprising 1,10,903 men, 1,17,232 women and 99 transgenders. Elaborate security arrangements are in place with about 2,000 State police personnel, 15 companies of Central Armed Police Forces, including CRPF deployed across 256 polling stations. The polling process is being monitored by nine observers, considered the highest for a single assembly constituency. This includes general, special, police and expenditure officials.


Ninety six flying squad teams, 21 Static Surveillance Teams and 20 Video Surveillance Teams have been deployed by election authorities. A total of 45 check points in and around the constituency are also manned by poll officials.

09:20 (ist)

Main contest is between DMK and AIADMK

Though as many as 59 candidates are in the fray, the bypoll is mainly seen as a fight between the ruling AIADMK, its rival faction led by Dhinakaran and DMK. While veteran ruling party leader and former MLA E Madhusudanan is the AIADMK nominee, Dhinakaran is contesting as an independent for the first time.

PTI

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Dec 21, 2017 - 19:58 (IST)

Total Polled 
                 

                 Nos.      Turnout

Male       84195      75.92
Female   92862.     79.21
Others          17    17.17
Total       177074   77.68

Dec 21, 2017 - 19:50 (IST)

77% voter turnout recorded till 5 pm, said Chennai district electoral officer D Karthikeyan

Dec 21, 2017 - 19:33 (IST)

No confidence in exit polls, says Dhinakaran

Asked about what he thinks about the exit polls that predicted he would get 35 percent votes, TTV Dhinakaran said he has no confidence in projections or exit polls or surveys. He and his people have been on the ground for 20 days and know the pulse of the public. And they all happy because they know they will win by a huge margin.- Ayswarya Murthy

Dec 21, 2017 - 19:27 (IST)

Dhinakaran says video does not diminish Amma's prestige

TTV Dhinakaran said, "It doesn't in any way diminish the prestige of Amma. Instead, Vetrivel had hoped that it was relief some of the pressure on Chinnamma. This emotional action by Vetrivel had backfired by bringing more trouble." He says he doesn't condone Vetrivel's actions, but as a friend he can understand his motivations. He doesn't fear EC repercussions because he had nothing to do with its release, like Vetrivel had admitted. - Ayswarya Murthy

Dec 21, 2017 - 19:23 (IST)

TTV Dhinakaran says neither the video nor 2G would have any impact on the results

At a press meet after the RK Nagar bypolls, TTV Dhinakaran said neither the video nor 2G would have any impact on the results. He also said he won't respond to the allegations of "clowns" who have said that he had been distributing money and tokens on Thursday morning.He had said earlier on Thursday that he was glad Raja and Kanimozhi were acquitted but he had only made the statement as a humanitarian who wanted justice to prevail. He was disappointed that his statement was construed by some as showing that he was colluding with DMK. - 101 Reporters/ Ayswarya Murthy

Dec 21, 2017 - 19:02 (IST)

Final polling percentage stands at 73.45%

Dec 21, 2017 - 18:27 (IST)

Here's a chart showing polling percentage of RK Nagar in recent elections: CEC

Dec 21, 2017 - 18:22 (IST)

TTV Dhinakaran distances himself from Jayalalithaa's video

TTV Dhinakaran says that he as an extended family will not go out of his way to release a video of Jayalalithaa's days in the hospital. However, if the probe commission demands it, he would not shy away from submitting it. 

Dec 21, 2017 - 18:19 (IST)

TTV Dhinakaran thanks supporters, says he does not need a video to boost his votes

Dec 21, 2017 - 18:17 (IST)

Gates shut as voting concludes in 174 polling stations

AIADMK candidate E Madhusudhanan is confident of winning the RK Nagar bypoll which is currently underway. As of 3 pm, the polling percentage in over 184 polling stations is 59.24 percent, Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni said. He said, “God and Amma’s grace with us”. Chief Minister E Palaniswamy and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam are banking on him to bring home the constituency, which was twice represented by former chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

Madhusudhanan is squaring off against sidelined party leader TTV Dinakaran who is contesting as an Independent, DMK's N Marudhu Ganesh and Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) K Nagarajan.

The high stakes bypoll in RK Nagar constituency is currently underway. The bypoll was first scheduled to be held in April this year, but was cancelled due to complaints of large-scale voter bribery. The seat fell vacant upon Jayalalithaa's death on 5 December 2016.

Campaigning for the bypoll came to an end on Tuesday, with the election being seen as a litmus test for the AIADMK-led Tamil Nadu government. The bypoll will also settle the dispute over the late Tamil Nadu chief minister’s political legacy within the AIADMK.

AIADMK coordinator Panneerselvam and co-coordinator Palaniswamy, DMK working president MK Stalin and sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran had hit a blazing campaign trail to ensure victory for their respective candidates.

It is the first election to be held in the 'post Jayalalithaa era', and necessitated following her death last December.

The bypolls will be seen as a report card of the 17-month-old AIADMK government, which itself underwent a tumultuous phase dominated by a rebellion and patch-up involving O Panneerselvam.

Chief Minister E Palaniswami and deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam urged voters to elect Madhusudhnanan to take forward the work initiated by Jayalalithaa.

In a joint statement, the leaders recalled that the late leader served people with a "motherly" attitude and that she had many plans for the constituency as its MLA.

People of RK Nagar were aware of her developmental work for the constituency, which was being taken forward by the ruling AIADMK, they said, while pointing out that this was the first hustings faced by AIADMK in her absence.

RK Nagar Bypoll updates 77 percent voter turnout recorded TTV Dhinakaran says doesnt believe in exit polls

File image of O Panneerselvam and E Palaniswamy. PTI

"Madhusudhanan will aid the government in implementing every other welfare measure with the blessings of Amma", they added.

Jayalalithaa is addressed as Amma, meaning mother in Tamil, by her supporters.

Stalin, on his part, vowed to unravel the 'mystery' behind the late AIADMK supremo's demise and assured to put behind bars those 'found responsible' for her death in the event of DMK coming to power.

During one of his stopovers during the campaign today, he said there was a "mystery on how Jayalalithaa passed away and what kind of (medical) treatment was provided" to her during her 75-day hospitalisation, as he dismissed as an 'eyewash' the inquiry ordered by the state government into her death.

"The first job of the DMK rule will be to find out who is responsible for Jayalalithaa's death and lock them up in prison," Stalin, Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, said.

The campaign saw old rivals Stalin and MDMK founder Vaiko share the stage for the first time in many years. The opposition is putting up a united show in a bid to snatch victory in this city segment. There were also allegations of money distribution, with DMK levelling charges against the ruling AIADMK.

Many opposition parties, including the Congress, the VCK and the Left have backed DMK candidate Ganesh.

Dhinakaran, who fell out of favour with Palaniswami and also lost the battle for the party's 'Two Leaves' symbol to the latter, is fighting as an independent and has expressed confidence that he can spring a surprise against the AIADMK's E Madhusudhanan, as well as the DMK.

With 59 candidates in the fray, the bypoll is virtually confined to old warhorse Madhusudhanan, DMK's greenhorn Ganesh and Dhinakaran.

Polling will be held on 21 December while the votes will be taken up for counting on 24 December.

Meanwhile, with campaigning coming to an end, the Election Commission has now barred all other related activities as is the rule. Liquor shops in the constituency will remain closed from 5 pm on Wednesday till 5 PM on the polling day, as well as on 24 December.

 

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date:

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