RK Nagar Assembly bypoll: Voting underway; Madhusudhanan, Dhinakaran key contenders

The counting of votes for the RK Nagar Assembly bypoll will be taken up on December 24.

RK Nagar Assembly bypoll: Voting underway; Madhusudhanan, Dhinakaran key contenders

CHENNAI: The voting for by-election to 'prestigious' RK Nagar constituency in Tamil Nadu began at 8:00 am on Thursday with as many as 59 candidates are in the fray.

According to the final list posted on the website of the Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer, a total of 72 nominations were accepted and out of it, 13 nominees withdrew, leaving 59 candidates, including a woman, in the contest.

The major contenders are AIADMK`s E Madhusudhanan, DMK`s N Marudhu Ganesh, sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran, contesting as an Independent and Bharatiya Janata Party`s K Nagarajan.

Elaborate security arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the poll, according to reports.

In Tamil Nadu, campaigning for the high-stakes by-poll came to an end yesterday.

Counting of votes will be held on December 24.

The bypoll was necessitated as the constituency fell vacant after the death of AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa in December last year. 

The bypoll was earlier scheduled for April 12 earlier this year, but was cancelled following allegations that sums of money were distributed in a vote-for-cash scam.
Meanwhile, setting off a political controversy, a video purportedly showing Jayalalithaa in a hospital was released by Dhinakaran's loyalist on Wednesday.

Amid questions raised about the timing of the about 20-second video, aired by TV channels and later went viral on the social media, election officials asked channels to stop it's telecast, saying it was a violation of the model code of conduct.

The footage, showing a frail-looking Jayalalithaa in a nightdress was released by Vetrivel, disqualified AIADMK MLA and election agent of Dhinakaran.

A police complaint was lodged by Returning Officer of RK Nagar Assembly constituency against Vetrivel, who said he released it in view of doubts raised over the circumstances leading to Jayalalithaa's hospitalisation and death.

AIADMK hit out at Sasikala's family, saying the video release was a 'conspiracy' and a 'demeaning' act with an eye on bypoll.

Suspicions have been raised over circumstances leading to Jayalalithaa's demise by several persons, including now Deputy CM O Panneerselvam and his followers.

The state government has appointed a retired Madras High Court judge as the one-man commission of inquiry to look into the circumstances leading to her death.

DMK also alleged that the video had been released with an eye on the bypoll.