Chennai: DMK President M K Stalin on Friday urged the Election Commission to hold by-polls for 21 vacant Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu along with the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. A DMK delegation led by Rajya Sabha member Kanimozhi presented Stalin's letter to the EC at its office in New Delhi.
"We request the ECI to hold elections to the 21 Assembly seats along with election to 39 parliamentary seats in Tamil Nadu," Stalin said in the letter, a copy of which was released to the media here.
The DMK chief said holding these polls together would save time for the voters, the EC and also the government staff, besides hugely lessening the burden on the public exchequer. Besides, since the electoral rolls are the same for both the Assembly and the Parliament polls, "logic demands that the elections must be held together", he said.
He also said since the 21 Assembly seats form part of some of the 39 parliamentary constituencies, "it would be easy to enforce election-related guidelines including the model code of conduct". Such a move would also benefit the political parties as they would be saved the burden of carrying out poll campaigns twice in the same regions.
Of the 21 seats, as many as 18 had fallen vacant following the disqualification of ruling AIADMK MLAs loyal to expelled TTV Dhinakaran by the Assembly Speaker in September 2017, which was upheld by the Madras High Court late last year. The court had also lifted an earlier stay on notifying the seats as vacant.
Two other seats are vacant after the death of sitting members -- DMK president M Karunanidhi (Tiruvarur) and A K Bose of the AIADMK (Tiruparankundram) -- while Minister Balakrishna Reddy representing Hosur constituency was disqualified after being sentenced to three-year imprisonment in a criminal case....