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CHENNAI: In a stunning victory that could put the K Palaniswami government on the back foot, sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran won the crucial RK Nagar by-poll on Saturday by a thumping margin of over 40,000 votes.

TTV Dhinakaran, nephew of jailed leader VK Sasikala, trounced his nearest rival E Madhusudhanan of the ruling AIADMK by 40,707 votes in the assembly constituency in north Chennai.

This was higher than the margin of 39,495 votes secured by late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa last year in the segment in the assembly elections.

The by-poll necessitated by the death of the AIADMK supremo on December 5 last year was held on December 21 and the votes were counted on Saturday.

Winning as an independent, TTV Dhinakaran has set a new record in Tamil Nadu. The last time an independent won in the state assembly/Lok Sabha polls was way back in 1991, when R Tamaraikani got elected from Srivilliputtur.

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