In a jolt to the ruling AIADMK, sidelined leader T T V Dhinakaran on Sunday won the prestigious RK Nagar Assembly bypoll by a thumping margin of over 40,000 votes.
Dhinakaran, nephew of jailed leader V K Sasikala, defeated his nearest rival E Madhusudhanan of the AIADMK by 40,707 votes, officials announced as the counting of votes ended. Polling for the seat was held on December 21.
The bypoll in the Assembly constituency was necessitated following the death of J Jayalalithaa in December last. The late Tamil Nadu chief minister was elected from the RK Nagar seat in north Chennai.
Dhinakaran bettered the record of Jayalalithaa, who had won by a margin of 39,545 votes in the 2016 Assembly polls.
While Dhinakaran polled 89,013 votes, Madhusudhanan got 48,306 votes. DMK’s N Maruthu Ganesh came a distant third with 24,651, in the process losing deposit, as also 57 others, including the BJP nominee.
Dhinakaran contested as an independent on the pressure cooker symbol after the Election Commission allotted the ‘two leaves’ symbol to the factions led by K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam.
The two factions had merged in August this year after deposing Dhinakaran and Sasikala, who is serving a four-year jail term in a Bengaluru prison in a corruption case.