India: Tamil Nadu ruling AIADMK fields Madhusudanan for Chennai R.K. Nagar bye-election!

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– Dr. Abdul Ruff Colachal
November 30, 2017

The Tamil Nadu ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), on November 30 named its presidium chairman E Madhusudhanan as the candidate for the December 21 by-election at R K Nagar constituency in Chennai, which was vacated due to the death of the party’s supremo and former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

A decision in this regard was taken at the governing council meeting of the AIADMK at its headquarters at Royapettah in the city on November 30 morning. In a brief joint statement after the meeting, deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam, the coordinator of the party and chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, the joint coordinator of the party, said, “As per the decision by the governing council, Madhusudhanan is being fielded as the AIADMK’s candidate in RK Nagar by-election.” Both leaders also expressed their happiness at the candidature of Madhusudhanan, a party veteran, former minister and a resident of RK Nagar itself.

The announcement comes a day after the ruling AIADMK announced VK Sasikala’s nephew and party’s number two, TTV Dinakaran as their candidate. Dhinakaran’s candidature was announced last evening after he met his aunt, Sasikala in a Bengaluru jail.

Both Sasikala and Dinakaran are now irrelevant in Tamil Nadu politics, but they are eager to know how many people would vote for them in RJ Nagar. If, however, Dinakaran manages to get his deposit money back that would be a great achievement for him and his jailed boss.

Earlier, confusion reportedly prevailed over the selection of the ruling party’s contestant for the prestigious by-poll, after at least four heavyweights- AIADMK’s former north Chennai district secretary and former MP N Balaganga, former south Chennai secretary Adhirajaram, former minister Gokula Indra and senior leader A Thamizh Magan
Hussein- expressed interest in contesting the by-poll.

Madhusudhanan was the preferred choice of Panneerselvam, who now heads the unified party which was recently given the Two Leaves symbol by the Election Commission.

It was Madhusudhanan who was fielded by OPS on behalf of the AIADMK Puratchi Thalaivi Amma faction in the earlier scheduled by-poll in April this year, which was canceled by the EC following large-scale irregularities.

AIADMK presidium chairman E. Madhusudanan has been named the party’s candidate for the bye-election to the Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar (RK
Nagar) Assembly constituency in Chennai on December 21.

The seat was held held by former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, and it fell vacant due to other sudden death.

The decision to nominate Madhusudanan was taken at the AIADMK Parliamentary Board at the party headquarters in the Chennai in the morning on November 30. The board was led by party coordinator O.
Panneerselvam and co-coordinator and CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

Madhusudanan was the candidate of the then AIADMK (Puratchi Amma) in the rescinded bypoll to the constituency in March. The poll was postponed due to the complaints of bribery by candidates and parties.
Reports suggested Dinkaran was wooing the voters with huge money distribution.

Besides Madhusudanan, former Minister Gokula Indira, former MP N.
Balaganga also sought allotment of a ticket for the seat. Others who were keen to contest were secretary of the MGR Mandram A. Tamilmagan Hussain, former secretary of the South Chennai district unit Adhi Rajaram and the party’s nominee in the constituency in the 1996 Assembly elections RMD Raveendran, among others.

However, Madhusudanan argued that he should be fielded as he was denied the ticket in 2011 due to ‘pressure’ from V.K. Sasikala. His loyalty towards the party, combined with his experience and seniority, make him the right choice, he contended.

Madhusudanan, an MGR loyalist, was the Textiles Minister during Ms. Jayalalithaa’s first term between 1991 and 1996. He had then won from the same R K Nagar constituency.

Madhusudanan told NDTV, “I am a local person here. I have been residing here for the past 56 years. I have also contested RK Nagar. I have done many more things for the constituency.”

As things stand now, RK Nagar would see a four-cornered contest. The DMK has announced Marudhu Ganesh as its candidate. Jayalalithaa’s niece Deepa Jayakumar too has thrown her hat for Ms. Jayalalithaa’s legacy. The BJP is likely to contest as well. On Wednesday, Dinakaran said, “I’d win with a huge margin of around 50,000 votes.” He is fond of making sweeping statements and makes big claims.

The stakes are high as the by-poll could establish who would inherit Jayalalithaa’s political legacy among her jailed aide VK Sasikala, O Panneerselvam, and Deepa Jayakumar. Of course, VK Sasikala has lost her credibility with serious corrupt practices now known to the public.

Had Supreme Court not punished her for her crimes, sending he rot jail, she would have become CM and looted the state resources along with Dinkaran and co. Already the IT officials have unearthed huge resources from her, and relatives.

The DMK which lost the seat last time is hopeful too, banking on the possible fragmentation of AIADMK votes. The results would also set the trend for the upcoming local body polls.

The DMK has retained its candidate Marudu Ganesh and sidelined AIADMK leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran has confirmed his candidature for the bypoll, which will be held on December 21. The results will be out on December 24.

Ruling AIADMK gets “two leaves” symbol.

The Ruling AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) is confident of winning the RK Nagar since it can use the party symbol has the recognition as the real AIADMK as the election commission has allotted the hugely popular “two leaves” symbol to the faction led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

In a blow to the AIADMK faction led by the now-jailed V K Sasikala and her nephew T T V Dinakaran, the election commission on November 23 allotted the hugely popular “two leaves” symbol to the faction led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

The announcement was greeted with joy by Palaniswami and Panneerselvam while their supporters burst crackers and distributed sweets. “The commission is of the opinion that the petitioner’s group led by E Madhusudhanan, O Panneerselvam and S Semmalai and also supported presently by the impleading applicant K Palaniswami enjoys the support of the majority of members, both in the organizational and legislature wings of the AIADMK. “The group led by Madhusudhanan and others is at this moment recognized as the AIADMK, which is a recognized state party in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, for whom the symbol ‘two leaves’ is reserved,”
the commission said in an 83-page order on the dispute in the party that arose after the death of the chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

It said the group led by Madhusudhanan would be entitled to use the name of the party and ‘two leaves.’ “We have got the symbol… We will decide on the candidate for R K Nagar constituency after discussing with party leaders,” a visibly pleased Palaniswami said.
The by-election, caused by Jayalalithaa’s death, has to be held by December 31. “The election commission has given a just decision. We are happy, and the party’s 15mn members will be happy,” he said.

However, Dinakaran said the election commission’s order would be challenged in the court, alleging the poll body had not acted neutrally. He also wondered why the poll body froze the symbol and the name in March when the faction led by Sasikala and Dinakaran had the support of 122 legislators and 37 MPs. The commission rejected the contention. “The commission does not see any merit in the argument… The commission had not prohibited by the interim order any merger between the rival groups for their unification,” it said.

The commission recalled that even when a dispute arose in AIADMK in
1987 after the death of the chief minister M G Ramachandran, it took into account the subsequent developments in the party which led to the merger and unification of rival factions.

On the claims by the Sasikala faction that millions of AIADMK members in Tamil Nadu and adjoining states were with it, the commission said it cannot be expected to hold a referendum among the primary members and verify individual claims.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Nov 27, 2017, refused to entertain a petition of a woman who claimed to be the daughter of late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. M

A bench of Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta also refused to allow the plea of the woman to conduct DNA test to prove her parentage.

Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, who appeared for the woman, had also sought cremation of Jayalalithaa as per Hindu rites since she was an Iyengar Brahmin. The court, however, said the petitioner is at liberty to approach the high court.

The by-poll will once again see a three-cornered fight with Madhusudanan taking on T.T.V. Dhinakaran (expelled AIADMK leader and nephew of jailed V.K. Sasikala) and DMK’s Marudhu Ganesh – all three were in the fray in the by-poll that was earlier supposed to be held in April but was cancelled by the Election Commission at the last minute. The BJP is yet to announce its candidate. In April, it fielded musician Gangai Amaran.

For the then party supremo Jayalalithaa it was a cake walk at RK Nagar, but for the ruling AIADMK now it may not be so. It would be rather tough for OPS-EPS to win the seat without Jayalalithaa even though the party symbol which Jaya and MGR used is now with the ruling party.

Whether the ruling party can win it or not is not going to change the life of the people of Tamil Nadu.

The party has not kept the promise given to the voters of ending corruption if voted to power or implement total prohibition in the state.

The ruling party is planning to open more new state liquor shops.

Corruption is rampant and with the commercialization of education, quality education is the casualty, poverty is steadily increasing even with the freebies to the poor.

The economy of the state has been falling day by day even during Jayalalithaa. Sasikala and Dinkaran with their gimmicks have increased the corruption level of the state.

Genuine distribution of work and services not ensured. Equality is missing in every field.

Corruption cannot be eradicated when the government and politicians do not pledge to work without taking bribes and when the judiciary has no power to punish the corrupt people.

The Dravidian parties DMK and AIADMK very actively promoted corruption through misgovernance. For every work, job and service there is a price tag attached with.

Therefore, whether AIADMK wins or DMK manages the show, there won’t be any difference in the ruling style and functioning of the government.

That is the fate of the state.

It is not sure if any other political party can make any difference in governance.

When governance in Tamil Nadu means corruption, there is no hope that people of Tamil Nadu would ever achieve great goals of equality and
honesty- the rarest commodity in Tamil Nadu life and politics.

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Dr. Abdul Ruff is a columnist contributing articles to many newspapers and journals on world politics. He is an expert on Mideast affairs, as well as a chronicler of foreign occupations and freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.). Dr. Ruff is a specialist on state terrorism, the Chancellor-Founder of Center for International Affairs (CIA), commentator on world affairs and sport fixings, and a former university teacher. He is the author of various eBooks/books and editor for INTERNATIONAL OPINION and editor for FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES; Palestine Times.