Two vacant Assembly seats may not see by-elections

Tiruvottiyur and Gudiyatham Assembly seats that are currently vacant may not witness a by-election until the polls next year.

CHENNAI: Tiruvottiyur and Gudiyatham Assembly seats that are currently vacant may not witness a by-election until the polls next year.The MLAs of these constituencies, KPP Samy and S Kathavarayan, had died on February 27 and 28 respectively. As per the Representation of People Act, the by-elections for vacant seats must be conducted within six months. However, with Covid-19 pandemic yet to be brought under control, no efforts have been taken so far for conducting bypolls.

Now, less than a year is left for the term of the present Assembly to end. According to the Act, the by-election need not be conducted if the Assembly term ends in less than a year. Hence, both constituencies are likely to go unrepresented till the polls. Interestingly, Gudiyatham constituency, which once was represented by late Chief Minister K Kamaraj, had a representative only for two-and-half years since the 2016 Assembly polls. Jayanthi Padmanaban, who won on AIADMK ticket in 2016, was disqualified by the Speaker in September 2017 for defecting against the ruling party. After a prolonged delay, a by-election was conducted in April 2019 and S Kathavarayan from DMK won.

‘Losing voice’
Tharasu Shyam, a veteran journalist and political observer told Express, “Not having an elected representative in a democratic system is a loss of its essence. People would lose a voice to represent them. Even if the MLA is from the opposition, he/she can help highlight the issue.”

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