CHENNAI: The State BJP on Monday continued to be sceptical over the conduct of the RK Nagar by-election while rebel AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran claimed that the ruling party was jittery due to its fear of losing. Alleging that the police were acting in a partisan manner, he said, “We will be forced to move court if the police don’t change their approach.”
BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan and Dhinakaran had separate meetings with Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni at the secretariat and lodged complaints. Perhaps for the first time, Dhinakaran addressed the media in the secretariat, made caustic remarks against the government and even named some police officials.
Answering queries, Tamilisai wondered whether there was any meaning in conducting the by-election since many irregularities were taking place unabated. “Let the ECI conduct this by-election in a free and fair manner or else call it off again,” she said. “From the first day of campaign, there have been a series of irregularities. Already, there is a notion that the by-election is ‘costly’. This time, it is getting ‘costlier’. Instead of seeking votes at every house, there are efforts to distribute ‘rupee notes’ to every house. Despite the announcement by the ECI that booth slips would be issued only by the officials, many political parties have already started issuing booth slips. In many places, election symbols are being presented to the voters. Further, several voters are still grateful for the money given to them during the April 12 by-election. I don’t know how the ECI is going to tackle such issues,” Tamilisai said.
TTV alleged that his supporters had been arrested by the police at midnight for no reason.