All but TTV welcome deferring bypoll

AS had been widely expected, the Election Commission has rescinded the by-elections to Tiruvarur Assembly constituency.

Published: 08th January 2019 05:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th January 2019 05:24 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

CHENNAI: AS had been widely expected, the Election Commission has rescinded the by-elections to Tiruvarur Assembly constituency. The decision was taken based on the report submitted by the District Collector on the situation prevailing in Tiruvarur, which was hit hard by Cyclone Gaja.

Though the order was issued Sunday night, it came to light only on Monday morning when Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahu confirmed the news. Though Opposition parties welcomed the decision, many of them expressed concern over the way in which the election was notified and rescinded.

TTV Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam, which is the only party to have opposed the postponement of the by-poll, termed the decision a “mockery of democracy”. The ruling AIADMK, which was set to declare its candidate on Monday morning, expressed disappointment over the development.

The Election Commission has accepted the nine reasons listed out by Tiruvarur Collector explaining why the by-poll should be deferred. This includes the fact that distribution of relief materials is only halfway through in the district, and the same set of officers involved in relief work would be in-charge of election work.  

Also, Pongal festival falls close to the polling date, people affected by the cyclone are yet to return to normal life, students taking the public exams may face hardships due to polling. All these factors, the collector has submitted, are likely to affect public participation in the polling process.

The Election Commission also pointed out that all political parties -- AIADMK, DMK, Congress, BJP, CPM, NCP and DMDK, had asked for the polls to be deferred in view of ongoing rehabilitation works in the district. By-election to the constituency was necessitated by the death of DMK president M Karunanidhi on August 7.

Stalin wants bypolls along with general elections

The by-election to the 20 vacant seats in the state should be conducted along with the general elections, said MK Stain, DMK president. In a release on Monday, he said there was a conspiracy when the by-election schedule was announced only for Tiruvarur at a time when 20 seats were lying vacant. It is more important to carry out the relief works in the Gaja-affected Tiruvarur district than to work for achieving victory in the by-election, he said, welcoming the Election Commission’s announcement rescinding the by- election. “The by-election for the 20 vacant seats should be conducted along the parliament election-2019,” he said.

CPI moved first

A few days ago, CPI national secretary D Raja moved the EC to defer the by-election as relief work was still ongoing. Two petitions, making similar demands, were filed before the Supreme Court also


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