NEW DELHI: The election battle for the Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar (RK Nagar) bypoll took a couple of twists on Tuesday. The nominations of Deepa Jayakumar and actor Vishal were rejected by the returning officer, news agency ANI has reported. This means they will not be able to compete in the battle, which has been a centrepiece in the factional battle within the AIADMK.
Deepa Jayakumar, the estranged niece of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, had hoped to launch her political career on the back of this election. Her nomination had reportedly been rejected as it was incomplete.
The nomination papers she had filed in May however, had been accepted.
The Returning Officer also rejected the nomination papers filed by actor Vishal. He had announced that he would fight the election as an independent, hopes that now stand dashed.
Vishal has been a prominent voice in the Tamil film industry who has been vocal against corruption within the various organisations that represent film professionals. He had said he was taking the political plunge because he was fed up of politicians, a charge similar to the pitch being made by Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan.
The RK Nagar seat was won by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the 2016 election and has been lying vacant since her death in December 2016. The bypoll was initially scheduled to be held in May. But, it had been cancelled by the Election Commission after it found instances of large scale cash distribution and other corrupt practices.
The rejected nominations of Deepa and Vishal means the battle in RK Nagar will remain a three-cornered contest. The main contestants in this round will be E Madhusudhanan of the AIADMK, TTV Dhinakaran of the AIADMK's splinter group, and DMK's E Maruthaganesh.
Last time the contest was announced, Madhusudhanan had been the candidate of the rebel AIADMK camp led by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam (OPS), and Dhinakaran had been named the candidate of the AIADMK faction led by VK Sasikala and with Edappadi K Palaniswami (EPS) has Chief Minister.
Much has changed since then. EPS and OPS factions have come together and defeated Dhinakaran in the fight for the AIADMK's iconic 'two leaves' symbol.