DMK petitions EC, seeks by-poll in excluded constituencies

Chennai: DMK president M K Stalin yesterday submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission yesterday claiming that there was no legally sustainable reason to omit the three vacant constituencies – Ottapidaram, Thiruparankundram and Aravakurichi – from the election schedule.

Stalin urged the Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora to hold byelections to three vacant assembly seats along with the 18 other segments that has been scheduled on 18 April. “There is no legally sustainable reason as to why three constituencies alone have been omitted,” the DMK chief stated in the memorandum.

A DMK delegation headed by party Rajya Sabha MP Tiruchi Siva submitted the memorandum at the Election Commission office in New Delhi. The memorandum stated that in all the three cases there were no orders from any court restraining the EC from conduction by-elections to the assembly constituencies and pendency of an election petition is not a bar under law for conducting by-elections.

Yesterday, the DMK moved the Supreme Court seeking the inclusion of these constituencies in the by-election schedule and the court agreed to hear the case 15 March. Ottapidaram and Aravakurichi were represented by disqualified AIADMK MLAs Sundararaj and Senthil Balaji, who is now with the DMK, Tiruparankudram legislator A K Bose died last year. Petitions challenging their elections are pending in the Madras High Court.

On 10 March, State Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo had said by-polls were not scheduled for the three seats as petitions related to them were pending in the Madras High Court, while Lok Sabha elections and bypolls to 18 assembly seats in Tamilnadu were announced to be held on 18 April.

The ruling AIADMK has 114 MLAs excluding the Speaker in the 234-member assembly with 21 vacancies. Opposition DMK (88) and its allies together have 97 members.

NT Bureau