Chennai: Many political leaders and analysts have raised objection to the Election Commission deferring the poll in Aravakurichi constituency (Karur district) to May 23 following large seizure of cash and complaints of the voters being bribed.
Since the Assembly poll results are to be announced on May 19, the verdict is bound to influence the voters in Aravakurichi if the poll is held on May 23, they have pointed out. CPI (M) state secretary G. Ramakrishnan has written to Chief Election Commissioner Dr Nasim Zaidi saying poll could be held on May 17 or 18 “in the interest of free and fair poll”.
He said while his party appreciated the EC action in deferring the poll date, it was necessary to note that if the poll in Aravakurichi was not completed within the electoral process, “the voting pattern on 23 May will be clouded by the results of 19 May providing undue advantage to the winner of 2016 general election”.
He also reiterated that the number of complaints and volume of money seized in cash and kind in Aravakurichi “is unprecedented”.
MDMK general secretary Vaiko and some other leaders too have raised the same objection and demanded that the deferred poll in Aravakurichi should be held before the result of the May 16 general election is declared to ensure fairness.
“This demand is very much justified”, says political analyst Dr Bernard D’Samy.
“The results announced on May 19 are certain to influence the Aravakurichi voters on May 23. Election results are never announced till the voting, or rather the electoral process, is entirely completed. This applies even when election is deferred in one constituency”.
Former chief election commissioner N. Gopalaswami has an interesting take on this. He felt that the commission should have deferred poll in many more constituencies considering the complaints and seizure of cash across the state. He said that such a move would have dealt a very strong blow on those distributing cash for votes.