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E Madhusudhanan gets AIADMK ticket for RK Nagar bypoll

E Madhusudhanan gets AIADMK ticket for RK Nagar bypoll

The by-poll to RK Nagar seat has now been scheduled for December 21, and the "two leaves" symbol allotted to the unified AIADMK led by Palaniswami and O. Panneerselvam, a Jaya loyalist who was initially in Sasikala's camp.

After the death of former Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa in December a year ago, the AIADMK split into two factions - one led by Panneerselvam and the other by her aide, now jailed V.K. Sasikala.

Sidelined AIADMK leaders Sasikala and T.T.V. Dhinakaran on Thursday moved the Delhi High Court against the Election Commission's decision to recognise the AIADMK under Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E.K. Palaniswami as the real party and allowing it to use the "two leaves" poll symbol.

An AIADMK release, signed jointly by party coordinator Panneerselvam and co-coordinator Palaniswami, announced the candidature of Madhusudhanan for the hustings.

The candidates haven't changed. Opposition DMK too has fielded the same candidate in DMK's M Maruthu Ganesh as it had done in April for the election that was cancelled.

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Madhusudhanan was then the candidate of the Panneerselvam-led rival AIADMK faction, while Dhinakaran was contesting on the then AIADMK (Amma) camp.

Besides Mr. Madhusudanan, former Minister Gokula Indira, former MP N. Balaganga also sought allotment of ticket for the seat.

Mr Dhinakaran - who is the nephew of jailed leader VK Sasikala, also evicted by the united EPS and OPS as AIADMK chief - could play spoiler for Mr Madhusudhanan but the party reckons that the damage should be limited.

The commission had in March barred two factions that had emerged following Jayalalithaa's death from using the two-leaves symbol. The Sasikala faction of the party shrank earlier this week when three of the 18 legislators who had earlier pledged allegiance to it returned to the Chief Minister's fold.

While Panneerselvam was made chief minister after Jayalalithaa's death, Palaniswami took over from him after the former rebelled against then party chief Sasikala, alleging he was forced to make way for her elevation to the state's top post in February this year.