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No deliberate delay in Tamil Nadu by-election: poll panel

New Delhi, Feb 10 (Calcutta Tube) There was no deliberate delay in conducting an assembly by-election in Tamil Nadu and a decision on its date will be taken soon, the poll panel said here Wednesday.

The Election Commission in a statement rebutted reports in a section of the press that expressed concerns at the delay in conducting the by-election from the Pennagaram assembly constituency in the state.

The commission had scheduled the polling for Jan 20 after the seat fell vacant due to death of the sitting member Dec 1, 2009.

‘However, due to representations from various political parties, the notification was withdrawn as the Pongal festival and the Tamil New Year were falling during the campaign period,’ the commission said.

The election must be held by June 1 to fill the vacancy, according to the law.

‘For notifying the by-election dates afresh in 2010, the commission had to revise the electoral rolls,’ the poll panel said.

The electoral rolls were prepared but before these could be published political parties complained to the commission that the rolls carried bogus names and that the names of some eligible people were deleted.

The commission will now review the progress Feb 17 and after the final publication of the electoral rolls, it will take a decision on the date for the by-election, ‘keeping in mind all relevant considerations like school examinations, religious festivals’, the poll panel said.

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