T T V Dinakaran, the AIADMK Deputy General Secretary and the nephew of V K Sasikala, has been nominated as the party's candidate for the RK Nagar by-poll scheduled for April 12. Election to the constituency was necessitated by the death of sitting member and former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in December last.

 

According to a party statement, the decision to field Dinakaran was taken at the AIADMK parliamentary board meeting, which is headed by its General Secretary Sasikala.

 

Dinakaran, nephew of Sasikala, is a former MP. 

 

This will be the first election faced which the AIADMK will face post-Jayalalithaa's death and the bitter rift following a revolt by expelled leader and former Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

 

While AIADMK will seek to continue its electoral dominance, the April 12 by-election is seen as an indicator of the people's mindset in the wake of Jayalalithaa's demise and the rift in the ruling party.

 

Dinakaran, who was expelled from the AIADMK in 2011, was re-inducted into the party last month by Sasikala after he expressed regret for his alleged anti-party activities. Subsequently, he was appointed as the party's Deputy General Secretary making him the second-in-command after Sasikala, who is now serving a jail term in Bengaluru, in connection with the Rs 66 crore disproportionate assets case.

 

Sasikala, her husband M Natarajan and close relatives Dinakaran and Venkatesh were expelled from the AIADMK in 2011 by Jayalalithaa amidst reports then that they interfered in party and government administration.