CHENNAI: Congress joined other opposition parties, including DMK and PMK, in boycotting the June 27 by-election to Radhakrishnan Nagar constituency here, from where AIADMK supremo and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa is seeking re-election to the Tamil Nadu Assembly. TNCC President EVKS Elangovan alleged that the bypoll may not be held in a fair manner.
In a statement, he claimed officials had failed to prevent an "unusual" situation from prevailing in the constituency, bypoll to which was necessitated following the resignation of AIADMK's P Vetrivel on May 17 to make way for his leader to fight election from a city constituency for the first time.
Elangovan also alleged that money was being distributed in the constituency.
DMK, PMK and MDMK besides others had announced boycotting the bypoll raising apprehensions over the fair conduct of the election besides alleging money distribution.
They had also held that the need to contest the election did not arise as elections to the 234-member state assembly are due next year.
DMK chief M Karunandhi had sarcastically said: "we clearly know how democracy will be respected in the bypoll," and asked "if we do not know how it was a carnival of money" in the Srirangam bypolls held in January this year.
Jayalalithaa returned as Chief Minister on May 23 following her acquittal by the Karnataka High Court in the
disproportionate assets case. She has to be elected as MLA within six months of taking office.
Earlier, she was disqualified as Chief Minister, besides as MLA of Srirangam, following her conviction in the case by a Bengaluru trial court.
Meanwhile, BJP said it was still holding talks with its allies including Vijayakanth-led DMDK and that a final
decision would be taken later but hinted that the party could also boycott the bypoll.
"However, as far as BJP is considered, we are hesitant to contest as we don't think it is necessary," party's state unit President Tamizhisai Sounderrajan told reporters here.
All the parties were 'hesitant' to contest the bypoll as there was "no level playing field," she said.
While DMK, MDMK, VCK and PMK have announced boycotting the boypoll, CPI with the support of CPI(M) has decided to contest.
The last date for filing nominations is June 10.