The by-election to the R K Nagar constituency in Tamil Nadu, caused by the death of J Jayalalithaa in December 2016, will be a close contest between the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) candidate E Madhusudhanan and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) candidate Marudhi Ganesh. According to an opinion survey carried out by Tamil television channel Thanthi TV, the contest is too close to call with Madhusudhanan enjoying an one-percentage point edge over DMK candidate Ganesh.
The survey showed that Madhusudhanan could garner 36 per cent of the votes, while DMK’s candidate, Ganesh, may get 35 per cent of the votes. T T V Dinakaran, the Sasikala faction AIADMK leader, could get 25 per cent of the votes, while the rest, including the BJP, will have to be satisfied with 3 per cent votes.
The survey showed a one-percentage point drop in the votes that Madhusudhanan could get from what he would have got if the elections had been held in May this year as candidate of the O Panneerselvam faction of the AIADMK. The survey shows that Dinakaran, who was then the candidate of Amma AIADMK, has gained three percentage points since May at 28, while the chances of other parties, mainly the BJP, have shrunk three percentage points to 3 per cent.
Arun Krishnamurthy, who held the survey for Thanthi TV, said strengths for the AIADMK were the party, candidate and the two leaves symbol that was wrested from Dinakaran. The DMK has been unable to impress the voters beyond its traditional vote bank.
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