The bye-elections for Chennai's RK Nagar assembly seat, the constituency which was once held by late TN CM Jayalalithaa is currently taking place with voting underway from 8 am on Thursday.
AIADMK’s E Madhusudhanan, Independent candidate TTV Dhinakaran and DMK’s N. Marudhu Ganesh are among the top contenders. It is vital for the AIADMK, which has been directionless since Ms Jayalalithaa died, to establish that Chief Minister E Palaniswami and his team are in control.
The party has fielded a senior leader, E Madhusudanan, who has held the seat before and has influence among Telugu people who have a sizeable presence in RK Nagar. AIADMK's E Madhusudanan is up against TTV Dhinakaran, and the DMK's Marudhu Ganesh, a little-known lawyer but an RK Nagar local who is seen by many as the frontrunner for the seat in today's by-election.
The campaigning ended on Tuesday amid allegations of bribery and circulation of unverified videos of notes distribution. The Election Commission has refused to postpone the by-poll further despite pleas from the opposition DMK. But the Election Commission said there was no proof.
Here are the live updates:
# Chennai: 57.16% voting in RK Nagar ByPoll till 3 p.m.
# 41 per cent voter turnout till 1 PM.
# DMK hopes verdict in 2G scam case may help the party in the RK Nagar bypoll. A special CBI court today acquiited DMK MP and dauther of DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s M. K. Kanimozhi. N. Marudhu Ganesh is DMK's contestent for high stake RK Nagar bypoll.
# Over 23 per cent voting till 11 am
# TTV Dhinakaran, contesting as an independent candidate, refutes BJP's allegation of bribing voters; says "people trust me, they are with me" #RKNagarByPoll pic.twitter.com/HDXUWUOV5c— ANI (@ANI) December 21, 2017
# AIADMK candidate E. Madhusudhanan cast his vote, says "God and Amma's grace is with us" #RKNagarByPoll #TamilNadu pic.twitter.com/6xadQI66Yj— ANI (@ANI) December 21, 2017
#"We will ensure free and fair elections, today. Have deployed additional forces" says Chennai City Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan
# DMK candidate N. Marudhu Ganesh cast his vote at polling booth no. 134 in Chennai, says "whether it is Rs 6000 or Rs 60,000, we are going to win; voters of RK Nagar will teach a lesson to AIADMK this time"
#People queue up to vote; visuals from a polling booth set up at Chennai Girls Higher Secondary School in Tiruvottiyur
# BJP candidate Karu Nagarajan arrives at a polling booth to cast his vote
# DMK candidate N. Marudhu Ganesh reaches polling booth to cast his vote
# Polling begins in RK Nagar constituency