EC will go all out to ensure fair polling to save the sole lifeline of democracy, hopes Madras High Court

The Madras High Court has hoped that the ECI will certainly take all effective measures with an iron hand to prevent any illegalities of bribing voters by any person or persons or any political party.

Published: 19th December 2017 03:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th December 2017 09:04 AM   |  A+A-

Madras High Court (File|PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Squarely applying the axiom  ‘once bitten, twice shy’  to the Election Commission of India which faced difficulties in handling the by-election to the RK Nagar Assembly constituency on the earlier occasion, which was later countermanded, the Madras High Court has hoped that the ECI will certainly take all effective measures with an iron hand to prevent any illegalities of bribing voters by any person or persons or any political party or parties and ensure the conduct of election in a free and fair manner so that the sole lifeline of democracy is achieved at any cost.

Justice K Ravichandrabaabu expressed his fond hope while disposing of a writ petition from N Marudhu Ganesh (43), RK Nagar DMK candidate, seeking to deploy adequate number of CRPF personnel, install CCTVs in all streets and telecast live-webcasting of the polling and counting.

Hearing the arguments of petitioner’s senior counsel P Wilson and ECI senior counsel and Additional Solicitor General G Rajagopalan, who also submitted a brief note on the steps taken, the judge observed that considering the circumstances prevailing in the constituency, the Election Commission of India was taking steps, by deploying 15 companies of the Central Armed Police Force and also seven Senior Observers, which, according to the Commission, was the highest in number in the country, in order to ensure that a free and fair election is conducted in the said constituency. It is also seen from the above notes that 225 IP CCTV/surveillance cameras have been deployed in major streets and at junctions and that web-casting has been ordered in all 258 polling stations.

Wilson also submitted that the brief note submitted by the ASG may be recorded and the election authorities may further be directed to consider the request of the petitioner for deploying more number of the CRPF personnel and also for installation of more number of CCTV cameras at the appropriate places.
Certainly, the Election Commission will have to take the call and attend to the situation by taking appropriate steps to ensure a free and fair election, as it has already experienced difficulties once, which resulted in countermanding of the election in the very same constituency, the judge said. “Needless to say that in this case, the phrase ‘once bitten, twice shy’ is squarely applicable to the Central Election Commission,” the judge added and disposed of the writ petition.

Survey in TTV favour

For the second time, a survey, conducted by the People’s Studies, has put TTV Dhinakaran, the ousted AIADMK leader, ahead of others in the by-election
People’s Studies, a research institute, has said TTV contesting as an independent continues to lead in all electoral parameters and he will get the highest number of votes (37.4%)
The survey said the others in the fray would get the following percentage of votes: Maruthu Ganesh
(DMK: 24.3), Madhusudhanan (AIADMK: 22.3), Kalaikottudayam (Naam Thamizhar: 4.8) and Karu Nagarajan (BJP: 0.8)


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