EPS govt's popularity at test in Dec 21 RK Nagar bypoll

Camille Rivera
November 26, 2017

A day after the Election Commission (EC) allotted the symbol of "two leaves" to the ruling group headed by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, the EC on Friday announced that the much-awaited by-election to the Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu would be held on December 21. "We are not unduly anxious about the allocation of the symbol to the EPS-OPS [Edappadi K. Palaniswami and O. Panneerselvam] faction", he told reporters after introducing his party's candidate for the upcoming R.K. Nagar byelection, Marudhu Ganesh.

The schedule drawn up by the EC stated that filing of nominations could begin on Monday, the day in which a notification would be issued on the gazettes of the respective State governments.

The RK Nagar seat, which Jayalalithaa represented for two terms, has been vacant following her death on December 5 past year.

For the April 12 bypoll, which was canceled subsequently, the AIADMK (Sasikala faction) had named T T V Dhinakaran as its candidate. The counting will be held on December 24.

"We will win the bypoll with huge margin and prove that we are truly the successors of late Chief Minister and party leader J Jayalalithaa", former MP and spokesperson K C Palaniswamy told IANS.

The announcement comes days after the Madras High Court directed EC to hold by-election by December 31.

The RK Nagar constituency is considered to be a stronghold of the ruling party as it had returned seven AIADMK candidates in 11 elections.

The bypoll elections got cancelled after there were allegations of cash for votes and two-leaves symbol bribery cases. DMK fielded Ganesh as he was known in the constituency.

J Deepa, niece of Jayalalithaa too, jumped into the electoral fray last time forming MGR Amma Deepa Forum. "We hope at least this time the elections will have results and the people of the constituency will have someone to go to with their problems", said entrepreneur Indrajit Ilangairajan.

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