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RK Nagar By-Election LIVE: 59% Voting Till 3pm; Over 90% Voting in 3 Poll Centres | December 21, 2017, 6:20 PM IST
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RK NAGAR BY-ELECTION LIVE UPDATES: Voting in the RK Nagar Assembly bypoll, which has turned out to be a prestige battle for AIADMK after the seat fell vacant last year after party supremo J Jayalalithaa's death, is underway. 59% voting was recorded till 3pm. AIADMK candidate E Madhusudhanan is confident of winning the bypoll, saying “God and Amma’s grace with us”. Chief Minister E Palaniswamy and Deputy CM O Panneerselvam are banking on him to bring home the constituency which was vacated last year. Madhusudhanan is squaring off against sidelined party leader TTV Dinakaran who is contesting as an Independent, DMK's N Marudhu Ganesh and Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) K Nagarajan. The result of the high-stakes bypoll will be known on December 24. The bypoll was first scheduled to be held in April this year, but was cancelled due to complaints of large-scale voter bribery. This round of voting is also not devoid of controversy. A Dinakaran loyalist released a video on the eve of the bypoll purportedly showing Jayalalithaa in a hospital few days before her death. Anticipating trouble, 2,000 police personnel and 15 companies of the CRPF have been deployed. The Election Commission had sent nine observers, considered to be the highest for a single Assembly constituency.

Stay tuned as Sanchari Chatterjee brings you LIVE updates:
Dec 21, 2017 6:20 pm (IST)

Voting for Chennai's RK Nagar ByPoll concludes

Dec 21, 2017 5:03 pm (IST)

The voting percentage recorded at 3pm for the RK Nagar bypolls was 59.24%. Three polling centres recorded voting percentage of over 90. RK Nagar has an electorate strength of 2,28,234,  comprising 1,10,903 men, 1,17,232 women and 99 transgenders. 

Dec 21, 2017 3:11 pm (IST)

When the Election Commission announced the RK Nagar bypoll in April, things came to a head. The bypoll was being seen as a referendum for a Jayalalithaa-less AIADMK government and winning it became a question of prestige and legacy. Both warring factions of the party laid claim to AIADMK’s name and its two leaves electoral symbol. However, the EC refused both. The bypoll then turned into a three-way contest between the two factions and the DMK. 

Dec 21, 2017 2:57 pm (IST)

The one man commission probing the circumstances leading to hospitalisation and treatment provided to late J Jayalalithaa till her death last year filed a police complaint on Wednesday against an aide of TTV Dinakaran who released a purported video of the late Chief Minister. According to a police official, a complaint has been received from the Justice A Arumughaswamy Commission "seeking action against Vetrivel" even as the Commission has started the inquiry as per its terms of reference.

Dec 21, 2017 1:51 pm (IST)

Security personnel at work at polling stations in RK Nagar Assembly constituency. (Image: News18)

Dec 21, 2017 1:46 pm (IST)

When Jayalalithaa died in December 2016, the seat fell vacant and what followed was political drama and the state saw pitched battles between rival factions of AIADMK. It all started with VK Sasikala being elevated as the interim general secretary of AIADMK, clearing the decks for her to become chief minister of the state. The interim chief minister, O Panneerselvam, threw the spanner in the works by rebelling against Sasikala and her family. Trouble mounted for Sasikala after she was convicted in the disproportionate assets case in which she was co-accused with Jayalalithaa. 

Dec 21, 2017 1:45 pm (IST)

In 2015, the sitting MLA of RK Nagar Assembly constituency had resigned to make way for former chief minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa to contest from the seat after she was acquitted in a disproportionate assets case. She won the bypoll and in 2016, she contested from the same constituency for the Assembly elections.

Dec 21, 2017 1:24 pm (IST)

Indications of massive voter turnout as voting percentage at the RK Nagar constituency stands at 41.6% till 1 pm.

Dec 21, 2017 1:21 pm (IST)

While RK Nagar is just one of 234 constituencies in the state of Tamil Nadu, the bypoll has piqued the country’s interest. The reason for this is because the bypoll has turned into a prestige battle of sorts and whoever wins it will decide what shape the political landscape of the state takes.

Dec 21, 2017 12:54 pm (IST)

Kanimozhi confident of winning the RK Nagar bypoll.

Dec 21, 2017 12:53 pm (IST)

After being acquitted in the 2G spectrum case, DMK MP Kanimozhi said, "The verdict is an answer to all the problems we faced. DMK will win the elections."

Dec 21, 2017 12:43 pm (IST)

A look at how the 2G spectrum scam unfolded in 2008 and has been in the news for close to 10 years. (Image: Network18 Creatives)

Dec 21, 2017 12:39 pm (IST)

Voters queued up outside polling stations in RK Nagar speaking to CNN-News18 say the 2G spectrum verdict will definitely have a bearing on their votes in this typical AIADMK bastion that was vacated after party supremo Jayalalithaa's demise last year.

Dec 21, 2017 12:30 pm (IST)

BJP MP Subramanian Swamy tweets: "I learn from some BJP activists that the Chennai RK Nagar poll has narrowed to DMK vs Dinakaran. Obviously then Tamils must vote for TTVD."

Dec 21, 2017 12:25 pm (IST)

DMK supporters have already started celebrating in RK Nagar after their leader former UPA Telecom Minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi were acquitted in the 2G spectrum scam.

Dec 21, 2017 12:23 pm (IST)

DMK spokesperson Manu Sundaram, speaking on the 2G acquittal of DMK leaders, says, "This is not an election issue per se for the RK Nagar bypoll, but it vindicates our stand and reaffirms what DMK has been saying till date, that the real scam is to call it a scam."

Dec 21, 2017 11:56 am (IST)

DMK spokesperson Manu Sundaram, speaking on the 2G acquittal of DMK leaders, says, "This is not an election issue per se for the RK Nagar bypoll, but it vindicates our stand and reaffirms what DMK has been saying till date, that the real scam is to call it a scam."

Dec 21, 2017 11:32 am (IST)

Heavy security arrangements at the RK Nagar constituency. (Image: Deepa Balakrishnan/News18)

Dec 21, 2017 11:30 am (IST)

DMK leader Manu Sundaram, speaking on the 2G verdict, said, “Regardless of what the judgment was, we were always well poised to win the RK Nagar bypoll, but now with this positive verdict, the margin of our victory will be much more.”

Dec 21, 2017 11:27 am (IST)

With a special 2G court acquitting all accused in the 2G spectrum scam, including DMK leaders A Raja and Kanimozhi, DMK’s candidate in the RK Nagar bypoll, Maruthu Ganesh, a local could prove to be a natural beneficiary of the widespread anti-incumbency against the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu.

Dec 21, 2017 11:23 am (IST)

Hearing the case on what is touted as the biggest scam in the history of Independent India, Special CBI judge OP Saini said the prosecution has failed to prove guilt beyond "reasonable doubt", thus acquitting all the accused, including A Raja and Kanimozhi. In its charge sheet filed in April 2011 against Raja and others, the CBI had alleged that there was a loss of Rs 30,984 crore to the exchequer in allocation of 122 licences for 2G spectrum.

Dec 21, 2017 11:19 am (IST)

Speaking on the 2G verdict acquitting all accused, including DMK leaders A Raja and Kanimozhi, TTV  Dinakaran said, "Even as an opposition party, we didn't want them to go to jail."

Dec 21, 2017 11:15 am (IST)

Meanwhile, all accused in the 2G spectrum scam case, including former telecom minister A Raja and DMK MP Kanimozhi, have been acquitted by a special CBI court. Reacting to the development, TTV Dinakaran said, "I welcome the 2G verdict. Congrats to all those who have been acquitted in this case."

Dec 21, 2017 11:07 am (IST)

According to early reports, 24% voting has been recorded till 11 am across 166 polling booths for the RK Nagar bypoll.

Dec 21, 2017 10:55 am (IST)

On the eve of the R K Nagar bypoll in Tamil Nadu, the Delhi High Court on Thursday declined to pass any order directing the Election Commission to put on hold the election. With the court refusing to "delve" into the matter because of the by-election, the petitioner withdrew his plea which was "dismissed as withdrawn".

Dec 21, 2017 10:53 am (IST)

BJP candidate for the RK Nagar bypoll, Karu Nagarajan makes fresh allegations of cash distribution against his rivals. Nagarajan says, “Voters have been given Rs 20 notes and assured that they will get a call tomorrow. If the voters give a serial number of the note, they will get Rs 4000 to 6000. Despite all of this, the Election Commission is helpless in the face of so many irregularities.”

Dec 21, 2017 10:50 am (IST)

Dinakaran refutes allegations of voter bribery.

Dec 21, 2017 10:47 am (IST)

AIADMK’s candidate Madhusudanan casts his vote. Coming out after voting during the RK Nagar bypoll, he said, “I am confident of winning the bypoll. Amma’s grace is with us and the God is with us. Amma has done so much for the country, we are confident of winning the bypoll.” He however refused to talk about the purported Jayalalithaa video that was released by the Dinakaran camp. 

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