Thanjavur: It is not only agriculture that is prone to vagaries of monsoon, but by-elections too, it seems if one considers the cancellation of the bypoll to Tiruvarur assembly constituency that was to be held on January 28.
When Election Commission of India wanted to hold the by-election along with five state assembly elections, State government cited Northeast monsoon as the reason and got it stopped.
Now the reason for cancelling the by-election after announcing the schedule is Gaja cyclone and relief works. Irony is two parties announced their candidates-DMK (Poondi Kalaivanan)and AMMK (S. Kamaraj) for the bypoll, while the ruling AIADMK said that it would announce the candidate on Monday, before which the ECI cancelled the election.
But has the ECI got its facts right for postponing the election?
"No" say people in Gaja affected areas in Tiruvarur district.
Ravi, a resident of Thiruthuraipoondi, which is the worst hit in Gaja cyclone said that its damage was not much in Tiruvarur assembly segment. "In fact there was no damage in TIruvarur assembly segment when compared to Thiruthraipoondi assembly constituency which includes Muthupettai one of the worst affected. Electricity was restored next day after Gaja hit in Tiruvarur, but in Thiruthuraipoondi it took 40 days for the power to resume," Ravi said.
People, by and large, in composite Thanjavur district expressed disappointment and frustration over announcement and postponement of the by-election by ECI saying that the poll body should apply its mind before announcing dates and once it is announced the dates, elections should be held on that date.
Tiruvarur district comprises of four assembly segments, namely, Tiruvarur, Mannargudi, Thiruthuraipoondi and Nannilam. Worst hit Assembly segment was Thiruthuraipoondi followed by Mannargudi.
Ravi said that beyond Kachanam on Thiruthuraipoondi and Tiruvarur road, towards Tiruvarur side, there was no damage in the district.
The cyclone like a bus route took Thiruthuraipoondi, Muthupettai in Tiruvarur district and Pattukottai, Orathanadu, Peravurani in Thanjavur district, after it hit the land at Vedaranyam, largely devastated areas in Nagapattinam district. Tiruvarur Assembly segment consists of Tiruvarur town as the major portion.
He also alleged that reliefs were partisan as R. Kamaraj, Food minister concentrated on his constituency Nannilam. He also said that DMK concentrated only on TIruvarur. Thiruthuraipoondi area was thus left out.
"In a democratic set-up it is unfortunate that now political parties are afraid of elections and ECI also is not firm in its decisions. People doubt political interference in the working of ECI," was the refrain of several others in the constituency.