Key candidates in R.K. Nagar by-election

Updated - March 29, 2017 06:40 pm IST

Published - March 29, 2017 04:13 pm IST

(From bottom left). BJP nominee Gangai Amaran, AIADMK Amma candidate T.T.V. Dinakaran, AIADMK Puratchithalaivi Amma nominee E. Madhusudhanan after filing their nominations in Chennai on Thursday. (bottom right) J. Deepa at the Jayalailthaa memorial before filing her nomination.

(From bottom left). BJP nominee Gangai Amaran, AIADMK Amma candidate T.T.V. Dinakaran, AIADMK Puratchithalaivi Amma nominee E. Madhusudhanan after filing their nominations in Chennai on Thursday. (bottom right) J. Deepa at the Jayalailthaa memorial before filing her nomination.

Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar, the high-profile constituency in north Chennai that elected former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa twice, is all set to once again choose its legislative representative on April 12.

A total of 62 candidates, including eight women, are in the fray in the by-election. The AIADMK has won seven out of 11 times in the constituency in the last 40 years. This time, three candidates are are claiming to be the ‘real face of the AIADMK.’

T.T.V. Dinakaran

AIADMK-Amma candidate T.T.V.Dinakaran campaigning at the RK Nagar Assembly Constituency in Chennai on Monday.

AIADMK Amma candidate T.T.V.Dinakaran campaigns at the R.K. Nagar Assemblyconstituency in Chennai on Monday.


When AIADMK’s interim general secretary V.K. Sasikala was convicted in the disproportionate assets case and lodged in a Bengaluru prison, she handed over the reigns of the party to her nephew and former parliamentarian T.T.V. Dinakaran by appointing him as the deputy general secretary of the party.

The 54-year-old leader represented the Periyakulam Lok Sabha constituency in 1999 and was a Rajya Sabha member between 2004 and 2010. Jayalalithaa had expelled him and his relatives after the party was defeated in the 2006 Assembly elections. Sasikala took him back into the party fold after her conviction.

The Election Commission has allotted the ‘Hat’ symbol to him and he will be contesting under the party name ‘AIADMK Amma’ after the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol was frozen since both the Sasikala camp and the O.Panneerselvam camp were claiming it.

Also read: A hat, an electric pole and a party with an identity crisis

Political analysts say a win for Mr. Dinakaran would assert his position in the party and he could even claim the chief minister’s post. But Mr. Dinakaran had said that Edappadi K. Palaniswami will continue to head the government.

The fate of both Sasikala and Mr. Dinakaran’s party posts will be decided by the Election Commission as the rival AIADMK camp has claimed that the appointments are not in line with the party’s constitution. The Enforcement Directorate has imposed a ₹28crore fine on Mr. Dinakaran for money laundering. He is also facing two 20-year-old FERA cases for acquiring foreign exchange from unauthorised dealers.

E. Madhusudhanan

AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) E. Madhusudhanan, R.K.Nagar constituency candidate election campaign at Kothandaraman Street, Tondiarpet on Friday.

AIADMK Puratchithalaivi Amma nominee E. Madhusudhanan campaigns at Kothandaraman Street, Tondiarpet, on Friday.


An AIADMK veteran, E. Madhusudhanan was the party’s presidium chairman. He has contested in R.K. Nagar four times and represented the constituency in the Assembly during 1991-96, the first tenure of Jayalalithaa as Chief Minister.

Mr. Madhusudhanan was convicted and later acquitted in a free dhoti-saree scam during his term as Handloom Minister. He has some 19 criminal cases pending against him, which he claims were politically motivated.

When Mr. Madhusudhanan switched to former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam’s side,Sasikala dismissed him from the party. Maintaining that he is still the party’s presidium chairman , Mr. Madhusudhanan ‘expelled’ Sasikala.

Mr. Madhusudhanan is a strong Jayalalithaa loyalist and stayed with her when the AIADMK split into Jaya and Janaki factions in 1989. He has been associated with the AIADMK since the party was formed and is a North Chennai strongman.

He is contesting using the ‘Electric Pole’ symbol under party name ‘AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma’.

Marudhu Ganesh

Wooing voters DMK’s candidate in R.K. Nagar, N. Marudhuganesh, campaigning at Kuyil Kuppam, Old Washermenpet, on Saturday. M. Vedhan

DMK candidate N. Marudhu Ganesh, campaigns at Kuyil Kuppam, Old Washermenpet, on Saturday. Photo: M. Vedhan


The DMK has fielded N. Marudhu Ganesh as its party’s candidate. A journalist-turned-politician, Mr. Ganesh is the party’s area secretary of R.K Nagar (East) unit and belongs to a family of DMK cardholders .

Mr. Ganesh’s mother, Parvathi Narayanasamy, was a councillor between 1996 and 2001 when DMK working president M.K. Stalin was the Mayor of the Chennai Corporation.

Though his family is from Madurai, Mr. Ganesh was born and brought up in Chennai and graduated from the Sir Theagaraya College in New Washermenpet. Later, he studied Law at the Venkateswara Law College in Tirupati.

Mr. Ganesh hopes that his introduction to the local people as a Dinakaran journalist will work in his favour.

R. Loganathan

R. Loganathan is the CPI(M)’s candidate. But the CPI and the VCK, alliance partners of the People’s Welfare Front, have declined to support his candidature.

Mr. Loganathan is a member of the party’s North Chennai district Executive Committee. The party is banking on the sizeable working class population in the constituency.

Gangai Amaran

Director-turned-music director Gangai Amaran is the BJP’s candidate for the bypoll. The younger brother of legendary music composer Ilayaraaja has directed as many as 19 movies and has composed music for over 50 movies.

He joined the BJP in 2014 and is currently the president of the State unit’s cultural cell.

Gangai Amaran had accused Sasikala of forcing him to sell his 22-acre farm at Payyanurin 1994. He was one of the prosecution witnesses in the disproportionate assets case.

The BJP is betting on Mr. Amaran’s popularity and caste. The constituency has a significant number of Dalits, and the BJP hopes they would vote for Mr. Amaran.

P. Mathivanan

P. Mathivanan is DMDK’s North Chennai District Secretary. He lost to Mr. M.K. Stalin in the 2016 Assembly elections. As a resident of Kodungaiyur,he  is pinning hopes on voters to elect a ‘local person.’


Film director-turned-politician Seeman’s Naam Thamizhar Katchi has fielded Kalaikottudhayam as its candidate. Kalaikottudhayam runs a Tamil news channel called Tamizhan TV and has produced a few movies.

J. Deepa

A novice and a veteran Deepa Jayakumar, niece of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and founder, MGR Amma Deepa Peravai, filing her nomination for the byelection at R.K.Nagar constituency in Chennai on Thursday. (Right) Madhusudhanan, candidate from the O. Panneerselvam faction, interacts with residents of R.K. Nagar before filing his nomination. Bijoy Ghosh, M. Vedhan

J. Deepa, niece of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa and founder of MGR Amma Deepa Peravai, fies her nomination for the by-election to the R.K.Nagar constituency in Chennai, on Thursday. Photo: Bijoy Ghosh


Jayalalithaa’s niece J. Deepa is also contesting the bypoll as an independent. She has been alloted the ''boat'' symbol. Ms. Deepa rose to fame after the death of Jayalalithaa. She claims to be the “rightful successor of Jayalalithaa” and had managed to gain support from a section of AIADMK followers.

A staunch opposer of Sasikala and her family, Ms. Deepa floated a political outfit called MGR Amma Deepa Peravai on Jayalalithaa’s birthday last month, putting an end to rumours that she will join hands with the Panneerselvam camp.

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