AIADMK chief and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa today recorded an impressive victory in the R K Nagar by-election with a margin of 1,50,722 votes, trouncing her nearest CPI rival C Mahendran who forfeited his deposit like other contestants.
Expressing joy and thanking the electorate for giving her a huge victory, Jayalalithaa said, “It is a historic win, I assure that I will tirelessly work to fulfil the voters’ expectations, and needs.”
Out of the total votes polled in the city constituency, a massive 88.43 per cent of the electorate had voted “for me which is historic,” she said.
The AIADMK chief had an unassailable lead of several thousand votes right from the start when counting began at 8 AM.
At the end of the 17th round, she secured 1,60,432 votes and Mahendran 9,710 votes out of the total 1,81,420 votes.
Of these, 2376 were ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) votes and 1,79,044 for the contestants. Maverick social activist ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy managed to get 4,590 votes.
The by-election was necessitated following AIADMK’s P Vetrivel vacating the seat in May, apparently to enable Jayalalithaa seek re-election.
She had to fulfil the constitutional requirement of getting elected as MLA within six months of becoming Chief Minister.
The AIADMK chief said the bypoll was held as a forerunner to the next year’s assembly elections and indicated that her party was poised for a repeat of such a victory.
Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah and Union Minister of State and senior BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan were among those who congratulated Jayalalithaa on her massive win.
The chief minister assured the electorate she would work for their welfare in keeping with the faith they had reposed in her. She also thanked her party workers and leaders of the alliance parties.
As soon as the news of her victory spread, senior AIADMK leaders led by former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam went into celebration mode and were seen distributing sweets.
In Srirangam in Tiruchirappalli district, from where she had successfully contested last time, party workers celebrated by dancing and distributing sweets besides bursting crackers.
They also offered prayers at various places of worship.
In the R K Nagar constituency, party supporters played popular songs of films featuring AIADMK founder MGR and Jayalalithaa while thanking the electorate for the massive victory.