Chennai: Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Mr M. Thambidurai has said that elections should not coincide with Pongal festival in January, even as his party, the ruling AIADMK, gears up for bypolls in Tiruvarur.
Mr Thambidurai said the polls would come in the way of distributing Pongal gift hampers to the people and make Opposition parties cry foul for no reason.
“There has been a precedence to postpone by-elections,” Mr Thambidurai said. “Bypolls to Pennagaram (in Dharmapurai district) were postponed (in 2010, during DMK rule) after then Opposition parties, including the AIADMK, sought its postponement in view of Pongal.”
He said the Election Commission should have announced dates for the Tiruvarur bypolls after ascertaining the situation.
“I personally feel it is unwarranted to hold consultation after announcing the dates, with parties speaking in divergent tones.”
A week ago, he had said that it was unnecessary to hold bypolls in January in view of Pongal and also on account of sufferings brought by cyclone Gaja that ravaged the district. But the Election Commission allowed the government to execute relief work and also agreed to hold the bypolls. “This will lead to problems as the Opposition parties are bound to protest against carrying out of rehabilitation work by the government and denying people the rights due to them,” Mr Thambidurai said.
“These are my personal views and not those of my party. The Opposition parties are so wary that they will object to even laying a road or installation of a light and remain unmindful of sanctions by the Election Commission....