By-elections to five state Assembly seats, including Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar (RK Nagar) Assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu, will be held on December 21, the Election Commission announced here on Friday.The other four constituencies are Sikandara (Uttar Pradesh), Pakke-Kasang and Likbali (Arunachal Pradesh) and Sabang (West Bengal).
The EC's announcement comes a day after it awarded the popular "two leaves" symbol to the ruling faction of AIADMK headed by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. An earlier notification for holding the bypoll on April 12 was rescinded over alleged electoral malpractices.
The vacancy for the constituency arose following the death of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on December 5 past year.
He claimed that the money flowed like water in Thanjavur and Aruvakurichi constituencies in the State where polls were cancelled in 2016 general elections due to the complaints of cash distribution, as authorities failed to monitor then. Both factions had named candidates.
With the three-way split in the Jayalalithaa's legacy, an interesting contest is on the card in RK Nagar, which is traditionally won by the ruling party in Tamil Nadu. The bypolls is expected to serve as the acid test for the AIADMK government as the constituency is likely to witness a four-cornered contest with nominees from AIADMK, DMK, BJP and TTV Dhinakaran jumping into the fray.
DMK Working President MK Stalin on Saturday announced Marudhu Ganesh as a candidate for RK Nagar by-elections.
Thirunavvukkarasar said Congress will support the DMK in the by-election. The BJP had fielded well-known Tamil music composer Gangai Amaran in the countermanded election.
The constituency came into prominence after Jayalalithaa made a decision to contest the seat in June 2015 after the Karnataka high court acquitted her in the disproportionate assets case. The matter relates to a DMK petition that an AIADMK MLA had obtained it when she was in an unconscious state.