AIADMK meets CEC over by-poll, discusses 42,000 missing names

Chennai, Feb 15 (Calcutta Tube) Political activity is building up around the Pennagaram assembly by-poll in Tamil Nadu with an AIADMK delegation calling on Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Navin Chawla Monday, four days after the DMK-Congress-VCK combine met him to ask for elections at the earliest.

With the Election Commission deciding to hold a review meeting Feb 17 on the by-poll — necessitated by the death of DMK legislator P.N. Periannan, AIADMK’s M. Thambidurai led a parliamentarians team to meet the CEC and demand that the constituency’s electoral rolls that had omitted 42,000 voters be set right.

The MPs said in their memorandum that the 42,000 names in the list published by the Election Commission in 2009 were deleted without any reason.

‘The procedure for the deletion of voters has been enunciated under the Representation of the People Act, 1950, and the Registration of Electors Rules, 1960,’ the memorandum stated and added that those 42,000 ‘were eligible to vote in the Pennagaram Assembly Constituency during the 2006 Assembly General Elections and the 2009 Parliamentary General Elections’.

It said that district officials in Dharmapuri, in which the constituency falls, had been acting hand in glove with the ruling DMK.

Last week Thursday, Chawla had received a 25-member delegation of MPs from the DMK-Congress-VCK alliance who said the by-elections should be held at the earliest.

Originally scheduled to be held Jan 20 this year, the by-poll was postponed to February by the Election Commission upon the representations from the opposition AIADMK, MDMK, PMK, Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

They said the Pongal and Tamil New Year festivals fall during the campaign period and the assembly session would start Jan 6.

They also said the Election Commission had declared the poll date in an undue haste within 21 days of Periannan’s death.

However, the ruling DMK and its ally Congress had opposed the decision.

When the electoral rolls were revised in 2010, several political parties had complained to the Election Commission about the omission of thousands of voters from the list.

The commission deferred the publication of the final list and asked the chief electoral officer, Tamil Nadu, to take appropriate action. It also asked that the district election officer of Dharmapuri be directed to hold a meeting of the representatives of the political parties to discuss the issue.

Based on the chief electoral officer’s report and after final publication of the electoral rolls, the poll panel will take a decision on the dates for holding the by-election in Pennagaram.

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