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Panneerselvam camp fields veteran Madhusudhanan for RK Nagar by-poll

LiveMint logoLiveMint 16-03-2017 Dharani Thangavelu

Chennai: Former chief minister O. Panneerselvam-led faction of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Thursday decided to field presidium chairman of the party E. Madhusudhanan for the Radhakrishnan Nagar (RK Nagar) by-election in Chennai on 12 April.

This decision comes a day after the AIADMK’s V.K. Sasikala camp and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) announced their candidates for the upcoming by-election, which is seen as a real test for both the camps of the AIADMK and the DMK, which would be working its strategies to gain from the instability within the ruling party.

On Wednesday, AIADMK deputy general secretary T.T.V. Dinakaran was announced as the candidate and DMK pitted N. Maruthu Ganesh, a party functionary for the contest.

“The parliamentary board of the party met today (Thursday) evening and with the blessings of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, we have decided that Madusudhanan would be our candidate from R K Nagar,” said Panneerselvam.

Madhusudhanan, an AIADMK strongman and loyalist of the party founder M. G. Ramachandran, has won from the RK Nagar constituency in 1991, and was the handloom minister in Jayalalithaa’s cabinet between 1991 and 1996. He was convicted and later acquitted in a scam of ‘free saree-dhoti distribution scheme’, initiated by the government in 1991.

Madhusudhanan had extended his support to Panneerselvam, after the latter rebelled with the party general secretary Sasikala in February.

The RK Nagar seat fell vacant following Jayalalithaa’s death on 5 December.

The late chief minister’s niece Deepa Jayakumar who recently floated a new forum has decided to contest from RK Nagar and Vijayakanth’s Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) will field the party’s North Chennai district secretary P. Mathivanan.

The alliance of Communist Parties- CPI and CPI(M) and Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) are yet to make a decision regarding the by election.

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