Chennai: Ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has alleged that there was a “tacit understanding" between rival faction leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran and the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) to defeat it in the RK Nagar bypoll in which the sidelined party leader emerged victorious.
Asserting that the win, which was achieved by a “conspiracy" of Stalin and Dhinakaran, would not affect the AIADMK, party coordinator O. Panneerselvam and co-coordinator K. Palaniswami said on Sunday the 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 to the prestigious seat by a whopping margin of over 40,000 votes while DMK candidate N. Maruthu Ganesh finished third, garnering 24,651 votes, in the process losing his 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 M.K. Stalin and Dhinakaran," Panneerselvam and Palaniswami said in a joint statement last night.
Stalin rejected the charge and alleged it was the state ministers under the charge of Palaniswami and Panneerselvam who aided the Dhinakaran camp in distributing money to voters. To reporters’ query on the AIADMK’s charge, he asserted that the DMK faced the poll only in “alliance with democracy". “Hence, this poll is not a loss for the DMK. It is a huge defeat for the Election Commission," Stalin claimed.
The AIADMK statement alleged that the bypoll result showed how Stalin and Dhinakaran “planned to defame" party founder, the late M.G. Ramachandran and Jayalalithaa by “joining hands to defeat Two leaves", the AIADMK’s symbol. “People are amazed how the 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 the DMK can enter into a conspiracy with Dhinakaran to defame Amma," they alleged.
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. The two leaders also took a swipe at Dhinakaran, saying he had earlier been expelled from the party by Jayalalithaa along with other relatives of her confidante V.K. Sasikala. They also accused him of “betraying" Jayalalithaa even after her death by allegedly joining hands with the DMK. They cited Dhinakaran’s response to the acquittal of DMK leaders Kanimozhi and A. Raja in the 2G spectrum allocation case on 21 December, 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 charges of money distribution against Dhinakaran and said his victory cannot be accepted as the “thought process" of the people of entire Tamil Nadu.
The win achieved by a “conspiracy" of Stalin and Dhinakaran would not affect AIADMK nor was it a setback, they claimed. They vowed to take forward the “Amma rule" and deliver welfare and commit to upholding Jayalalithaa’s fame.
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L. Ganesan said in Coimbatore on Sunday that this was a victory of Jayalalithaa and the AIADMK should introspect about the results which would have been different had it remained a single entity. On the BJP’s performance, Ganesan said people had not taken into consideration the saffron party’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 the DMK was not able to break the Jayalalithaa citadel and its campaign had no impact on the people.