“I am the real successor of Amma,” claimed rebel AIADMK leader and independent candidate TTV Dhinakaran on Sunday after he established an early lead over his rivals in the RK Nagar assembly bypoll.
After the end of five rounds of counting of votes, Dhinakaran with 24,550 votes was way ahead of his nearest rival ruling AIADMK’s E Madhusudhanan, who garnered 10,687 votes.
With just 5500 votes, N Maruthu Ganesh of DMK was trailing far behind in the third position.
The outcome of the election, first to be held after the demise of former chief minister late J Jayalalithaa in December last year, is perceived to be a litmus test for the ruling AIADMK faction headed by chief minister K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneeerselvam.
“RK Nagar poll leads reflects the mood of the people across Tamil Nadu,” a smiling Dhinakaran said, adding in the same breathe, “People want me to succeed Amma.”
“The government will fall in three months,” predicted Dhinakaran, who had earlier claimed to have many sleeper cells within the ruling party.
Late chief minister, whose demise necessitated the bypoll, was reverently called Amma (mother) by her supporters and Dhinkaran is trying to position himself as the rightful heir to her legacy.