TTV Dhinakaran has won the race for Chennai's RK Nagar - represented by former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa - by more than 40,000 votes, dealing a huge blow to the ruling AIADMK which had sidelined him three months ago. "We are the true AIADMK... people of RK Nagar have elected Amma's successor," said Mr Dhinakaran, who had laid claim to Jayalalithaa's legacy owing to his jailed aunt VK Sasikala's proximity to her and finally had to contest as an Independent. "E Palaniswami's government will fall in three months," he warned from Madurai, after the trends established his lead.
TTV Dhinakaran had polled 89,013 votes in comparison to E Madhusudanan, the veteran AIADMK candidate's 48,306 votes. The victory of the 54-year-old, who tried to get E Palaniswami removed from the Chief Minister's post, is seen as a huge psychological setback for the ruling AIADMK.
This was the first time in 18 years that a ruling party in the state lost a by-election.
Marudhu Ganesh, the candidate of the opposition DMK was a distant third with 24,681 votes and lost his deposit for failing to get one-sixth of the total votes cast. His performance is seen as a downer for DMK leader MK Stalin, who has been trying to project himself as an effective second to his father M Karunanidhi.