Chennai: Taking a serious view of the Election Commission of India (EC) ordering bye-elections along with the Lok Sabha polls to only 18 of the 21 Assembly seats lying vacant, the DMK president, M K Stalin on Monday accused the poll body with “ulterior motives” in withholding the bye-polls for three constituencies of Ottapidaram, Aravakuruchi and Thiruparankundram.
Though pending election petitions in courts regarding the three constituencies are cited for non-inclusion in the list of bye-polls announced by the EC on Sunday, Mr. Stalin said asked why the EC had withheld elections to the three Assembly segments when there was no specific court stay in any of those pending cases.
Speaking to reporters at the party headquarters here after a meeting of the DMK district secretaries, Mr. Stalin said a delegation of DMK MPs' including Tiruchy Siva and T K S Elangovan would submit a petition in this regard to the EC in New Delhi on Tuesday, to press for holding the bye-elections to the three Assembly constituencies also along with the 18 announced on Sunday, simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu scheduled for April 18.
Wondering why the EC decided to keep the above mentioned three Assembly by-elections in abeyance when 18 Assembly segments had already been lying vacant for over a year now, Mr Stalin alleged the long procrastination was more to “protect the Edappadi K Palaniswami-led AIADMK government in the State.”
Stating that the DMK had passed a resolution that bye-elections to all the 21 Assembly seats lying vacant now should be held along with the LS polls, Mr Stalin expressed the hope that the EC would “render justice on our petition” to be given by the DMK MPs'. They hope to get an appointment on Tuesday. If the EC declined, the party would be compelled to move the High court or even the Supreme court if necessary, he said.
The VCK leader, Thol Thirumavalavan who earlier held talks with the DMK on identification of seats for the parliamentary constituencies, also backed Stalin's demand on the Assembly bye-elections, saying, “the EC had no business to withhold the bye-polls in the three Assembly segments.”
To a question, he said as of now, the DMK will field its candidates in all the 18 Assembly bye-elections for which the schedule has been announced. “We have already discussed this with allies,” he said.
The DMK's poll manifesto will be release in another two or three days, Mr. Stalin said to another question. On the people of Madurai demanding a change in the poll date from April 18 in view of the Meenakshi Amman temple's 'Chithirai festival' falling on that day, Mr. Stalin said the EC should consider their plea.
List of party constituencies soon
On the identification of constituencies with allies, Mr. Stalin said barring the Congress and the VCK, which have been allotted ten and two Lok Sabha seats respectively, identification of constituencies for all the other allies have been finalised. They include the CPI, CPI(M) IUML, MDMK led by Vaiko, KNDK and IJK.
Mr. Stalin said once the seats to be contested by Congress and VCK were also finalized, probably by Monday night or by Tuesday, “we will release the full list of constituencies allotted to each of our allies for the Lok Sabha polls.”
After apportioning 20 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats including Puducherry to its allies, the DMK will be contesting 20 seats this time, though some of its allies including IUML, KNDK and IJK have been persuaded to contest on the DMK's symbol....