By poll date for more constituencies in TN is set as May 19: Election Commission

By poll date for more constituencies in TN is set as May 19: Election Commission
Highlights

The SC allotted an order demanding the EC to contemplate holding the by-elections.

The Election Commission announced by-elections on May 19 to the four constituencies - Sulur, Aravakurichi, Thiruparankundram and Ottapidaram. Thus, urging to fill all openings in the Tamil Nadu assembly, left out in the first round on April 19.

The filing of nominations in the four constituencies will begin on April 22 said an EC statement. Moreover, May 2 is the last date for withdrawal of nominations. The statement issued by EC principal secretary Sumit Mukherjee said "After taking into consideration various factors such as local festivals, electoral rolls, weather conditions etc., the commission has decided to hold byelections to fill vacancies."

The AIADMK government faces a huge challenge as it needs 118 MLAs to cross the halfway-mark in the 234-member house as all 22 openings in the assembly set to be filled. The AIADMK now has 114 members, but the loyalties of at least five of them are suspect. Rumor says that the AIADMK government could once again disqualify some MLAs to bring down the numbers for a majority, if it does poorly in the by-elections.

'EC must ensure a free and fair election'

The Sulur MLA, R Kanagaraj of the AIADMK, died in a road accident on March 21, necessitating a by poll there.

The DMK then appealed the EC and also filed a case in the Supreme Court, looking for an order to hold the by-elections in the three constituencies as there were previous instances of by polls being held even when cases were pending in various courts. In the past, the DMK and others also held back the cases against the polls, from various courts held in the three constituencies.

The SC allotted an order demanding the EC to contemplate holding the by-elections.

T K S Elangovan, DMK spokesman said his party received the EC decision to hold by-elections in all four constituencies. "But the EC should have announced the schedule on March 10 itself with other constituencies. It is only due to the Supreme Court order that the EC has agreed to hold byelections in the four constituencies," the DMK leader said.

They were prepared to face the by-elections on May 19 nevertheless all the AIADMK ministers will be in these four constituencies and that the EC must watch them to guarantee an unrestricted and unbiased election said Elangovan.

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