DMK forms panel to probe by-poll defeat

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CHENNAI: One day after mistakenly losing the election of RK Nagar, the main opposition, DMK, set up a three-member committee on Monday to identify the reasons for its failure in the high-risk contest.

The rival leader of the AIADMK, TTV Dhinakaran, who participated as an independent, won the bypoll by securing 89,013 votes against the AIADMK nominee and his closest rival E Madhusudhanan with 48,306 votes. N Maruthu Ganesh of DMK was third to obtain 24,651 votes, in the process, losing the deposit.

The three-member panel, set up under the instructions of DMK Working President MK Stalin, would comprise his whip in the R Sakrapani Assembly, the legal wing secretary R Girirajan and the assistant secretary Ve Kannadasan, according to a party statement.

The committee had been ordered to present its report before December 31, he added.

The bypoll was carried out to fill the vacancy caused by the death of a sitting member and then of Prime Minister Jayalalithaa on December 5 of last year and DMK had expected a victory for it.

In his reaction to the result of yesterday’s survey, DMK attributed Dhinakaran’s victory to the “power of money” and claimed it was “a defeat of the Himalayas for the Electoral Commission instead of the DMK candidate.”

The AIADMK has alleged that there was a “tacit understanding” between DMK and Dhinakaran to defeat the ruling party.

Meanwhile, in another statement, DMK said that a high-level meeting of the committee headed by Stalin would be held on December 29 at the headquarters of the ‘Anna Arivalayam’ party here.

“All committee members should participate in it without fail,” said party general secretary K Anbhazhagan.