CHENNAI: Political parties in the State, particularly the ruling AIADMK, main opposition DMK and ousted AIADMK deputy general secretary T T V Dhinakaran are eagerly awaiting the result of the RK Nagar Assembly by-election on Sunday.Since exit polls have indicated a close contest among the candidates of the AIADMK, DMK and Dhinakaran, who contested as an independent, a clear trend on the result is likely to emerge only around noon on Sunday.
This by-election is crucial for the AIADMK, DMK and Dhinakaran. While the ruling party faced the by-election just after retrieving the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol, it is in a need to prove its popularity among the people by winning the poll.Winning is inevitable for the DMK also because almost all opposition parties rallied behind it in facing the by-election. For Dhinakaran, this by-election would be a litmus test to prove that he had the support of AIADMK cadre since he was facing this election after being thrown out of the party.
During the campaign for this by-election, the AIADMK, DMK and Dhinakaran lodged complaints with Election Commission against each other on distribution of money and other allurements to voters. The results of the opinion polls and exit polls differed on the winner. Two days ahead of the polling date, the Election Commission transferred a key police official engaged in election duty in RK Nagar.
A record number of nine Central observers, 385 sub inspectors, 2,915 head constables, five police deputy commissioners, one joint commissioner and nine IAS officers monitored the election process. Besides, the EC appointed Vikram Batra, IRS, as a Special Chief Electoral Officer to oversee the election process.
Counting will start at 8 am at Queen Mary’s College on the Marina. It will be held in 14 tables in 19 rounds. Since only four postal votes had been polled, the actual counting will start soon. The EC has made elaborate security arrangements at the counting venue and the lead trend will be announced once in an hour.
Question of popularity
The by-election is crucial for the AIADMK, DMK and Dhinakaran. While the ruling party faced the by-election just after retrieving the ‘Two Leaves’, it is in a need to prove its popularity