June 03 2020
‘Bypolls put off as AIADMKis wary of facing people’
08 October 2018

Stalin questions motive behind EC’s decision to postpone the byelections

DMK president M.K. Stalin on Sunday said the decision of the Election Commission not to hold byelections to the Tirupparankundram and Tiruvarur Assembly constituencies had cast doubt in the minds of the people whether its action was motivated.

In a statement in Chennai, he alleged that the byelections in the State had been postponed since the ground-level situation in the two constituencies was totally against the ruling AIADMK.

Mr. Stalin said the ruling party lacked the confidence to conduct the bypolls, and that if it faced the people, the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues would be subjected to great embarrassment.

“To avoid such repercussions, the government has succeeded in postponing the bypolls through Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan, who, contrary to the good name earned during her career, has become a propaganda secretary of the ruling party,” he alleged.

Question of precedent

Mr. Stalin said Ms. Vaidyanathan’s letter to the Election Commission seeking to postpone the bypolls citing the likelihood of heavy rain during the monsoon had raised doubts whether she had become a primary member of the AIADMK.

“Is there any precedent for postponing bypolls on account of the monsoon? When the then Chief Minister Jayalalithaa was in hospital, byelections were conducted in three constituencies in November 2016 (one of them in Tirupparankundram itself), the month of the monsoon. After her death also, a byelection (R.K. Nagar) coincided with the monsoon. What is the need for postponing it now?” he asked.

Mr. Stalin said that since there was strong discontent among the people against the ruling party, it was delaying local body polls too by citing lame excuses.

“The AIADMK is fully aware that if the election to the local bodies is held, it will be routed. It has created a situation wherein the local bodies are not able to discharge their basic functions and the administration is crippled,” he said.

‘Fear of losing’

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president Su. Thirunavukkarasar said that rain cannot be accepted as a reason for deferring the bypolls.

“It seems the Centre, along with the State government, has used the Election Commission to get the elections postponed due to fear of losing the polls,” he said.

MDMK general secretary Vaiko too questioned the rationale behind the Election Commission’s decision not to announce the dates for the bypolls. “They (the EC) are the one who have to explain this. Even general elections have been held in extreme winter conditions. Citing the rain as a reason for delaying the polls is unacceptable,” Mr. Vaiko said.

‘A political conspiracy’

VCK president Thol. Thirumavalavan said the whole episode was playing out like a political conspiracy. “They should hold the byelections with the Assembly elections in other States, and the EC should immediately announce the dates,” he said.

DMDK chief Vijayakant

also claimed the government was opposing the conduct of the bypolls as it was afraid of losing them.



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