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Former Tamil Nadu minister Senthil Balaji of DMK wins Aravakurichi Assembly byelection

Updated by admin on Friday, May 24, 2019 12:56 AM IST

Chennai: Former Tamil Nadu minister Senthil Balaji of DMK has won the Aravakurichi Assembly byelection held in Tamil Nadu. He defeated his nearest AIADMK rival, VV Senthilnathan, by 37,957 votes. Senthil Balaji bagged 97,800 votes (56.45 per cent) as against 59,843 votes (34.54 per cent) of Senthilnathan.

Senthil Balaji was with the AMMK of TTV Dhinakaran and was one of the 18 AIADMK MLAs disqualified as per the orders of the Assembly Speaker. He recently joined the DMK which provided him the opportunity to contest the Aravakurichi byelection.

Among others trailing were P H Shahul Hameed (AMMK), S. Mohanraj (MNM) and Selvam (NTK).

The election campaign was marked by actor Kamal Haasan’s speech while campaigning for his party MNM that Nathuram Godse was the first extremist in Independent India, and that he was a Hindu. This was criticized  by the BJP and AIADMK leaders and complaints were also lodged with some police stations in Tamil Nadu seeking action against hm. He secured anticipatory bail from the High Court. Kamal Haasan maintained that what he had stated was a historical fact, and that he did not aim to create disharmony among religious groups. On the other hand, he said he was always against communal propaganda.

The seat was held by AIADMK in 2016.

22 Assembly constituencies are up for grabs in the by-elections in Tamil Nadu.

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