After Jayalalithaa, Who? RK Nagar Votes On December 21, Results On 24th

RK Nagar By-Election: The election for the state legislator from RK Nagar, which J Jayalalithaa represented two times, was to be held in April, but was cancelled after huge amounts of cash were found in Chennai that were allegedly to be used to bribe voters.

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After Jayalalithaa, Who? RK Nagar Votes On December 21, Results On 24th

RK Nagar By-Election: J Jayalalithaa died in December 2016 while she was Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.

Chennai:  RK Nagar, the constituency in Tamil Nadu's Chennai that has been vacant since the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa a year ago, will vote on December 21 for a new representative.

The result will be declared on December 24.

The dates have been announced three days after the Madras High Court gave a December 31 deadline for the election of a new lawmaker for the constituency.

The election for RK Nagar, which Jayalalithaa represented for two terms, was cancelled earlier in April following allegations of a massive amount of cash and other inducements being circulated among voters. The Election Commission was told that voters were being bribed with prepaid phone recharge coupons, newspaper subscriptions, milk tokens and mobile wallet payments. A minister was also accused of arranging such inducements. A video showing Rs 4,000 cash being handed to voters went viral. 

Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said the commission was looking at how it can devise a more effective strategy against bribing of voters, pending legislation. "I think that assessment will be completed soon and the Commission will take a call," Mr Zaidi told news agency IANS.
 
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Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran had announced he would contest from RK Nagar. But he has been sidelined by E Palaniswami and O Pannerselvam.

Tax raids at properties linked to state minister C Vijayabhaskar revealed routing of Rs 89 crore for "distribution to voters" in RK Nagar.

The opposition DMK has alleged in court that one lakh fake voters were registered in the constituency and said there should be no voting till corrections are made. The Election Commission removed 45,000 names, after which the High court ordered a deadline for the polls.

Jayalalithaa died while she was Chief Minister last December. Days later, the ruling AIADMK was plunged into turmoil and infighting as Jayalalithaa loyalist O Panneerselvam, who took over as Chief Minister after her death, rebelled against VK Sasikala, her closest companion.

Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran had announced that he would contest the election as the candidate of the AIADMK. But Dhinakaran has been sidelined by Chief Minister E Palaniswami and Paneerselvam, who merged his rebel faction into the party in August on the condition that Sasikala would no longer be its chief. 

"Certainly I'd win after the governing council nominates me for RK Nagar. There's a situation we are required to fight and reclaim the two-leaves symbol," Dhinakaran said.

Sasikala is serving a four-year jail term for corruption. 

The by-election, being held after the two-leaves symbol of AIADMK was restored to the E Palaniswami-Panneerselvam group - referred to as EPS-OPS camp - is being seen as a test for the united AIADMK and the faction headed by Sasikala. Many also see it as a referendum on the performance of the EPS government. 

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