HC seeks EC’s reply by 22 Jan on by-polls to 18 TN Assembly constituencies

Chennai: The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has issued notice to the Election Commission, directing to file its reply before 22 January on a petition seeking to conduct by-elections in 18 Assembly constituencies in Tamilnadu.

The 18 Assembly seats fell vacant in the wake of disqualifications of 18 AIADMK MLAs in September last year.

The MLAs were disqualified for revolting against Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami. They were suspended by Assembly Speaker P Dhanapal. The court upheld his order of suspension.

The group, now owing allegiance to AMMK’s T T V Dhinakaran, have decided not to go on appeal against the court order and said they were ready to face elections.

Though the EC announced by-poll for the Tiruvarur constituency, which seat fell vacant after the death of former chief minister and DMK president M Karunanidhi (it has since been rescinded), it did not announce by-elections for the 18 constituencies. Hence, the petition filed by Damodaran of Tirumangalam, seeking to hold by-elections in all 18 constituencies.

NT Bureau