Sidelined AIADMK leader T T V Dhinakaran today paid tributes to the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on her first death anniversary. Flanked by his supporters, including disqualifed party MLAs like P Palaniappan, he took out a procession on a four-wheeler from arterial Anna Salai to Jayalalithaa's mausoleum in Marina Beach. A sizeable number of supporters also walked along side him, even as he stood atop the vehicle that sported a photograph of Jayalalithaa which was decorated with flowers. On culmination of the procession, Dhinakaran paid floral tributes at the late Chief Minister's burial site and placed a wreath, with his supporters beside him. He stood there with folded hands for a couple of minutes, even as his supporters jostled for space as many of them tried to come near him. Dhinakaran is contesting the December 21 bypoll to Radhakrishnan Nagar (RK Nagar), which fell vacant following the death of Jayalalithaa on December 5, 2016. Though the former MP had contested the April 12 bypoll to the same constituency as then AIADMK (Amma) candidate, backed by Chief Minister K Palaniswami, he later fell out of favour with the latter. A section of the Tamil Nadu cabinet led by Palaniswami revolted against Dhinakaran, then deputy general secretary of the party, in July and sidelined him. Further, in August this year, then factions led by Palaniswami and his now deputy O Panneerselvam merged. The camp was also awarded the AIADMK's Two Leaves symbol by the Election Commission recently, a development seen as a big jolt to the Dhinakaran-V K Sasikala camp. Dhinakaran has since filed nomination as an independent for the bypoll, for which candidates of ruling AIADMK, DMK, BJP and actor Vishal Krishnan have filed their nominations.
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