Tamil Nadu chief minister campaigns for RK Nagar by-elections
Shivani Chaturvedi | June 22, 2015 | Chennai
Tamil Nadu chief minister and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) general secretary J Jayalalithaa begins her campaign to restore her dented pride with an election meeting in Radhakrishnan Nagar assembly constituency in north Chennai on Monday. She is seeking to become legislator again after her disqualification last year.
The by-election is scheduled to be held on June 27 to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of sitting MLA P Vetrivel who paved the way for his party leader to contest. After Jayalalithaa got acquitted in disproportionate wealth case by the Karnataka high court and assumed office as Tamil Nadu's chief minister for the fifth time she picked RK Nagar assembly seat to contest. As per law she has to become member of legislature within six months after becoming the chief minister.
It is the first time she is contesting from the city. A factor that may have weighed in her choice of RK Nagar constituency is that this assembly seat has remained an AIADMK stronghold since 2001 with PK Sekar Babu being elected MLA two successive terms before he crossed over to the DMK.
RK Nagar is among the smaller constituencies in Chennai with about 2.5 lakh voters and the 67-year-old leader, whose health is indifferent; need not have to travel much to campaign. She would also want to concentrate on administrative issues since she was out of power for eight months. For these reasons, RK Nagar assembly seat becomes ideal choice.
As such her campaign for the by-election is just a formality. Tamil Nadu's political history is that only the ruling party wins the by-election. Jayalalithaa just wants to show her presence by campaigning, said a city-based commentator.
Political commentator BR Haran said, "She will certainly win RK Nagar by-poll. At the same time we cannot say that this campaign will be a curtain raiser for the 2016 assembly polls."
He did feel that there is a possibility for a mid-term poll. She may announce a few more freebies schemes and go for assembly polls. However, before that she may wait for the Karnataka government's move with regards to the disproportionate assets case. She may opt for the poll immediately after Karnataka government's filing of appeal in the case. "She will create a sort of sympathy wave again and utilise it for the mid-term poll. In all likelihood she may sweep the 2016 assembly polls again," added Haran.
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