Sasikala Kept Aside By AIADMK For RK Nagar By-poll

Chennai: Sasikala, General Secretary of AIADMK, now in Jail as a convict in DA case, was set aside by party leaders for RK Nagar by-polls for various reasons.

AIADMK party cadre strongly feels that Chennai voters are anti-Chinnamma as they still believe Sasikala is one of the factors in Amma’s demise. They have sympathy for OPS. Knowing this, AIADMK took care by removing Sasikala’s face and name in posters during election campaign. We can see only late MGR’s and Jayalalithaa’s images displayed in their campaign.

T.Dinakaran, nephew of Sasikala and the candidate of the AIDMK, is said to be scared of using her image on posters and pamphlets, according to AUADMK rival camp candidate (OPS group) E.Madhusudhanan. Whatever may be the reason, Chennai people’s perception is that Chinnamma was responsible for Amma’s death. Surprisingly, posters outside Chennai still feature Sasikala’s image. This is what is called survival and hypocritical strategy, according to political analysts in TN. They will worship Chinnamma once the elections were over, analysts say.

AIADMK has released party’s manifesto on Monday. It included Annadurai, MGR and Amma’s images. This is a conscious decision to simplify things, felt another political analyst.

Sasikala and her family, in the perception of Chennai voters, particularly the youth, are a negative factor as far as this by-election is concerned. The people feel that Sasikala cannot succeed Jayalalithaa in popular esteem. Sasikala faced severe criticism after Amma’s death. Even today, many are of the view that OPS should have been continued as CM since he was a true loyalist of Amma.

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Dinakaran Reaches Delhi To Appear Before Police

While the rival factions of AIADMK are inching towards merger, deputy general secretary of AIADMK (Amma) faction reached Delhi to appear before police in cash for symbol scandal.

Chennai: AIADMK (Amma) faction deputy general secretary, TTV Dinakaran, who was accused of a deal to bribe an Election Commission official to get ‘two leaves’ symbol for his faction, reached Delhi on Saturday to appear before the police. He was served the summons by Delhi Police on Wednesday to join the probe. The ‘cash for party symbol’ scandal came to light at a time when merger talks between AIADMK rival factions were on.

A con named Sukhesh Chandrasekar who was arrested by Delhi Police earlier spilt out the name of Dinakaran. He was the middleman who was allegedly trying to fix a deal with an Election Commission official to get Dinakaran faction, two leaves symbol. Sukhesh was arrested after the police received a tip-off from an informer. It was alleged that a deal had been struck for Rs. 50 crore to allow Dinakaran faction keep the symbol.

However, Dinakaran has denied these allegations.

Before this allegation came into light, Dinakaran was already facing rebellion from within his faction. The rebels were demanding to oust Dinakaran and his aunt Sasikala from the party positions. Many in the party were of the view that merger with the rival faction of AIADMK, led by former chief minister O Panneerselvam, will only be possible if the two are evicted from their posts.

A kind of fear surrounded the party men when documents seized during income tax raids on various people, including health minister proved that RK Nagar voters were bribed to the tune of Rs 89 crores. The Election Commission countermanded the RK Nagar poll after these documents came out. In fact, Dinakaran was named in serious corruption cases much before he became deputy general secretary of the party.

After the cash for symbol scandal came into light, the Delhi Police issued a lookout notice against Dinakaran. It was a day before they served him notices to appear before them. This notice was issued on the premise that Dinakaran was an NRI and he might flee the country before the launch of probe. However, this move by Delhi Police was questioned by Dinakaran.

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Sasikala Gets ‘Hat’, OPS ‘Electric Pole’

New Delhi: in their fight for late J Jayalalithaa’s RK Nagar seat as well as her political legacy, the warring factions have come up with slight variations in the name of the party. Since the Election Commission on Wednesday disallowed both the factions from using the name of the party and its election symbol, two leaves, they submitted their proposals to the EC. While the faction headed by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam (OPS) changed the name to Amma AIADMK and the official faction led by Sasikala Natarajan as AIADMK Amma.

The EC ultimately granted the name, AIADMK Puratchi Talaivi Amma. The election symbol OPS faction got is ‘electric Pole’. The Sasikala group was granted the namer, AIADMK Amma and the election symbol of ‘hat’.

The by-poll for RK Nagar seat will be held on April 12. It was necessitated on account of Jayalalithaa’s death on 5 December 2016. E Madhusudanan is the candidate being fielded by OPS group while Sasikala’s nephew Dinakaran is in the fray on behalf of Sasikala group. Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar is contesting as an independent. Gangai Samaram is the BJP candidate.

In the meanwhile super star Rajinikanth has issued a statement on Thursday saying that he would be neutral in the elections. This clarification was needed in the light of the BJP candidate meeting the legendary actor.

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AIADMK Election Symbol Frozen

New Delhi: The Election Commission has decided to freeze the symbol of AIADMK making it unavailable for both the rival groups. The official group led by Sasikala Natarajan was hopeful that it would get the election symbol of two leaves since it enjoys majority in the Assembly. It hoped that the EC would follow the UP precedent where chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav was given the cycle symbol denying the same to his father Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam has contested the claim made by Sasikala group and submitted to the court that the appointment of Sasikala itself is against the provisions of the AIADMK constitution. The EC earlier questioned the legitimacy of Sasikala as Payyavula general secretary. Since it did not recognise Sasikala as the AIADMK general secretary, the EC must have thought that the group headed by her does not have legitimacy.

The decision of the EC to freeze the election symbol is a definite setback to Sasikala group.

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Two leaves Symbol: EC Decision Today

New Delhi: Two groups of AIDMK, one owing allegiance to the jailed Sasikala and the other led by rebel O Panneerselvam (OPS), former chief minister, will argue on the symbol case before EC today here.

Before finalising two leaves symbol as to which group it belongs to, the EC has to announce its decision on the legality of appointing Sasikala as AIDMK party’s General Secretary, whether it is in accordance with the rules and regulations as per the party constitution as amended in 2007.

RK Nagar by-poll will take place on April 12th. EC has to decide which group can use Two Leaves symbol for this election.

Saiskala group is expecting that the the symbol will be allotted to them, citing SP’s internal feud in UP as an example. The war between father and son for the symbol of cycle in recent elections held in UP, the decision was given in favour of the group that enjoyed the support of majority of MLAs. Sasikala is expecting the same in TN as she is fully enjoying the support of majority of AIDMK party MLAs.

On the other hand, OPS claims that party symbol belongs to them and electing Sasikala as General Secretary itself is a dispute and late Jayalalitha appointed him and Madhusudanan as treasurer and Presidium Chairman of the party.

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RK Nagar By-Poll: All Major Parties To Contest

Chennai: RK Nagar by-poll which will take place on April 12 will witness fight between major political parties in Tamil Nadu.

RK Nagar, known as Jayalalithaa’s home constituency, is facing by-poll after her demise on 5 December 2016.

Deepa Jaya Kumar, Jayalalithaa’s niece, will test her political debut from this constituency by contesting on behalf of her party which was launched last month in the name MGR Amma Deepa Peravai Federation.

Former chairman of AIADMK steering committee Madhusudhanan will represent OPS camp in this election. It is a rebel group of AIDMK formed after the demise of Jayalalithaa.

DMK will announce its candidate tomorrow. Acting president of the party Stalin is having talks with left parties in Chennai later on Monday.

DMDK too will contest in this by-poll , testing party’s connect with the TN voters. Gokula Indira will contest from ruling AIDMK or from Sasikala Camp.

Meanwhile Jayakumar Deepa stated that she is receiving threat calls from Sasikala camp to withdraw from contest in the by-polls. Party was hijacked by Sasikala after Jayalalithaa’s death which should be investigated, Deepa felt. Late Jayalalithaa won twice from this constituency.

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