The ruling AIADMK today alleged there was a ‘tacit understanding’ between TTV Dhinakaran and the opposition DMK to defeat it in the RK Nagar bypoll, in which the sidelined party leader emerged victorious. The party is also likely to brainstorm on today’s defeat at a meeting here tomorrow, party sources said. Asserting that the win achieved by “conspiracy” by Stalin and Dhinakaran will not affect AIADMK, party coordinator O Panneerselvam and co-coordinator K Palaniswami said DMK, their party’s arch rival, faced its “worst defeat” in an election to any Assembly segment in Tamil Nadu so far. Dhinakaran won the bypoll by a thumping margin of over 40,000 votes while DMK candidate N Maruthu Ganesh finished third, garnering 24,651 votes, in the process losing deposit. AIADMKs’ E Madhusudanan came second. The bypoll was held to fill the vacancy caused by the death of sitting MLA and then chief minister J Jayalalithaa. “The result of the RK Nagar bypoll is an outcome of the tacit understanding between DMK Working President MK Stalin and Dhinakaran,” Panneerselvam and Palaniswami said in a joint statement tonight.
Rejecting the charge, Stalin alleged it was the state Ministers under the charge of Palaniswami and Panneerselvam who aided the Dhinakaran camp in distributing money to the voters. Responding to reporters’s query on the charge by AIADMK, he asserted that the DMK faced the poll only in “alliance with democracy”. “Hence this poll is not a loss for DMK. It is a huge defeat for the Election Commission,” Stalin claimed. The joint statement said the bypoll result showed how Stalin and Dhinakaran “planned to defame” party founder, the late MG Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa by “joining hands to defeat” Two leaves, the AIADMK’s symbol. “People are amazed how DMK is pushed to a situation where it could not even get the primary votes it has in RK Nagar. At the same time, they are questioning how DMK can enter into a conspiracy with Dhinakaran to defame Amma,” they added. Stalin had entered into such a “tacit understanding” unmindful of his party’s performance as his sole intention was to target the AIADMK government, they alleged.
Taking a swipe at Dhinakaran, the two leaders said he had earlier been expelled from the party by Jayalalithaa along with other relatives of her confidante VK Sasikala. They also accused him of “betraying” Jayalalithaa even after her death by allegedly joining hands with DMK. They cited Dhinakaran’s response to the acquittal of DMK leaders Kanimozhi and A Raja, in the 2G spectrum allocation case on December 21, that he was happy for them as they hailed from Tamil Nadu. “The election outcome shows he (Dhinakaran) received DMK votes as a reward for this. Realising he cannot take on AIADMK and Two Leaves directly, Stalin has diverted his party votes to Dhinakaran,” they charged and accused the DMK leader of “betraying” his party.
The two AIADMK leaders also levelled allegations of money distribution against Dhinakaran. They said Dhinakaran’s victory cannot be accepted as the “thought process” of the people of entire Tamil Nadu. The win achieved by “conspiracy” by Stalin and Dhinakaran will not affect AIADMK nor was it a setback, they said. They vowed to take forward the “Amma rule” and deliver welfare and commit to upholding Jayalalithaa’s fame. In Coimbatore, senior BJP leader L Ganesan said this was a victory of Jayalalithaa and AIADMK should introspect about the results, which would have been different had it remained a single entity. On his party’s performance, Ganesan said people had not not taken into considering the BJP’s presence in the contest. This was a factor to be thought about, he added. Senior AIADMK leader and Deputy Speaker in the Lok Sabha M Thambidurai said the result proved that DMK was not able to break the Jayalalithaa citadel and its campaign had no impact on the people.