The two factions of the AIADMK announced their candidates for the RK Nagar Assembly by-poll scheduled to take place on December 21.
The ruling AIADMK faction fielded E Madhusudhanan, who will contest against AIADMK (Amma)’s candidate TTV Dhinakaran, the sidelined party leader and nephew of former party chief VK Sasikala.
DMK’s M Marudhu Ganesh is also in the fray for the seat which fell vacant in December 2016 following the death of AIADMK MLA and then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) Presidium Chairman Madhusudhanan was the party’s “unanimous” choice, a release from the ruling party said. The veteran will be contesting the polls under the ‘two leaves’ symbol.
Dhinakaran is contesting the by-election with the “approval” of his aunt, the deposed AIADMK leader V K Sasikala, senior leader of the camp, S Anbazhagan said.
The by-poll was earlier scheduled to be held on April 12 but the polls were rescinded by the Election Commission following complaints of money distribution. For the April 12 polls, Madhusudhanan was the candidate of the Panneerselvam-led rival AIADMK faction, while Dhinakaran was contesting on the then AIADMK (Amma) camp, which was part of the Palaniswami camp.
The factions led by Panneerselvam and Palaniswami later merged in August. The unified AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) then ousted Sasikala and TTV Dhinakaran and their loyalists.
Last week, the Election Commission allotted the ‘two leaves’ symbol to the unified AIADMK led by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, dealing a big blow to the Sasikala faction.
Sasikala, who is currently serving a four-year sentence in a Bengaluru jail in a disproportionate assets case, was sacked as party chief after the Palaniswami and Panneerselvam camps came together.
(With inputs from PTI)