Jayalalithaa surges ahead in by-poll vote count

Chennai, June 30 (IANS) Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa took a massive lead over her nearest rival, CPI’s C. Mahendran at the end of first round of vote count on Tuesday in the Radhakrishnan Nagar assembly seat by-election.

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Counting of votes began at 8 a.m.

At the end of the first round, Jayalalithaa got 9,562 votes (including postal votes), while Communist Party of India’s (CPI) candidate C. Mahendran secured 930 votes.

Social activist K.R. Ramaswamy, popularly known as `Traffic Ramaswamy’, got 289 votes.

Out of the 11,188 votes counted in the first round, 174 voters opted for NOTA (none of the above).

Jaya headed for massive win, party supporters celebrate

Chennai, (PTI): AIADMK supremo and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was today headed for a clear victory as she secured an unassailable lead of over 62,000 votes over her CPI rival in the R K Nagar Assembly seat bypoll.

At the end of seven rounds of counting, Jayalalithaa had secured 67,453 votes against CPI candidate C Mahendran’s 4,816. Social activist ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy had polled 2226 votes.

The early trends put the party supporters in a celebratory mode with many of them thronging the AIADMK headquarters and Jayalalithaa’s Poes Garden residence here, raising slogans of ‘Puratchi Thalavi Vazhga (Hail revolutionary leader).

Party supporters said today’s trends were a ‘precursor’ to the assembly polls scheduled next year. AIADMK’s allies like Republican Party of India, AISMK and Tamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi described Jayalalithaa’s massive margin lead as a ‘grand victory’ for her social welfare schemes besides her government’s efforts in addressing power shortage.

During her campaign on June 22 at RK Nagar, Jayalalithaa had not only sought a massive victory for her party, but insisted that it should be a ‘precursor’ to the next Assembly polls.

Referring to her conviction in a disproportionate assets case, in which she was subsequently acquitted, Jayalalithaa had said that there was a situation where she had to step aside as Chief Minister due to a ‘politically motivated case,’ while insisting that the June 27 bypoll on this constituency was a “compulsion”.

The by-election was necessitated following AIADMK’s P Vetrivel vacating the seat in May, apparently to enable Jayalalithaa seek re-election. She has to fulfil the constitutional requirement of getting elected as MLA within six months of becoming Chief Minister.

Jayalalithaa returned to the top post on May 23 after being acquitted in the disproportionate assets case by the Karnataka High Court. She had been convicted in the case in September last by a trial court in Bengaluru.

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