Jayalalithaa set to return to assembly

Chennai, June 30 (IANS) AIADMK General Secretary and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa on Tuesday was all set to return to the state assembly as she surged towards a massive victory in the Radhakrishnan Nagar by-election.

Counting of votes began at 8 a.m. on Tuesday here.

At the end of 10 rounds, Jayalalithaa had got 98,519 votes while her nearest rival, the Communist Party of India’s (CPI) C.Mahendran, had secured a mere 6,269 votes.

Social activist K.R.Ramaswamy popularly known as “Traffic Ramaswamy” got 2,939 votes.

Jayalalithaa built a sizeable lead over her rivals at the end of first round of counting itself. The lead then went on increasing.

It was celebration time at AIADMK’s headquarters here and also outside Jayalalithaa’s residence.

Party leaders and cadres in large numbers assembled at the AIADMK headquarters.

Incidentally, the victory is a record of sorts as Jayalalithaa has polled more than 85,000 votes.

In 2006 AIADMK candidate P.K. Sekarbabu polled 84,462 votes. In 2011 P. Vetrivel of AIADMK got 83,777 votes and defeated Sekarbabu who had by then shifted to DMK. Vetrivel won the election in 2011 with a margin of over 31,000 votes.

This time the polling percentage was higher at around 74 percent, up form 72.72 percent pollied in 2011 assembly elections.

The total number of voters in the constituency is around 245,000.

While there were 28 candidates in the fray, only CPI’s Mahendran was viewed as a serious opponent for Jayalalithaa.

Opposition parties like the DMK, the PMK, the DMDK, the Congress, the BJP and the MDMK stayed away from the contest.

The two Left parties – CPI and CPI-M – fielded Mahendran as their joint candidate.

The Radhakrishnan Nagar constituency fell vacant after AIADMK’s Vetrivel resigned from the house to facilitate Jayalalithaa’s re-election to the assembly.

Jayalalithaa, elected from Srirangam in 2011, lost that seat and the chief minister’s post after a trial court in Bengaluru convicted her in the disproportionate assets case.

The Karnataka High Court upheld her appeal and acquitted her of all charges. Jayalalithaa was again sworn in as chief minister, but she has to get elected to the assembly within six months.

The Karnataka government has gone on appeal against the high court order in the Supreme Court.

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