May contest RK Nagar bypolls: TTV Dhinakaran

He was speaking to reporters after releasing souvenir commemorating 46 years of the AIADMK at the Ramavaram Gardens.

Chennai: With speculation rife that byelections to R K Nagar constituency will be announced as early as Wednesday, rebel AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran on Tuesday gave ample indications that he will enter the fray as candidate of V.K. Sasikala faction even as the BJP said it will decide its stand once the poll schedule is announced.

Sources said there are possibilities that the poll schedule for the R K Nagar byelection, rescinded in April due to allegations of rampant use of money, will be announced on Wednesday when the Election Commission is set to release the dates for Gujarat Assembly elections.

Dhinakaran's statement that he was “sure” that the AIADMK (Amma) faction would renominate him for the high-profile seat fell vacant due to the death of chief minister J. Jayalalithaa raises the stake for the yet-to-be announced by-polls. The byelection will be the first acid test for both Dhinakaran and EPS-OPS factions of the AIADMK even as they are fighting a long-drawn battle over Two Leaves symbol in the Election Commission.

“As the candidate of the AIADMK last time, I can say that I will get a chance to contest again from R K Nagar seat. I am hopeful that I will be renominated by the governing council headed by general secretary Chinamma (V K Sasikala) to contest the R K Nagar polls as the candidate of the party,” Dhinakaran told reporters here.

He was speaking to reporters after releasing souvenir commemorating 46 years of the AIADMK at the Ramavaram Gardens, the residence of legendary M. G. Ramachandran.

Dhinakaran filed nomination as the candidate of the AIADMK (Amma) faction then led by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on hat symbol after the EC froze the Two Leaves following a petition filed by O. Panneerselvam, who joined the AIADMK Government in August as deputy chief minister. However, the elections were cancelled after I-T sleuths' recovered documents that allegedly showed Rs 89 crore was to be distributed among voters.

Speaking to reporters in Karur, TN BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan said the party would decide on contesting the R K Nagar byelections after the poll schedule is announced. “We will decide our strategy once the Election Commission announces the poll schedule,” she told reporters.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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