“The state government is not in a mood to conduct polls till January. At present, it is focussed on monsoon. The same precedence taken for the two vacant (Thiruvarur and Thiruparankundram) assembly seats will continue for the remaining 18 vacant seats. Further, the state government through its chief secretary has already communicated to the Election Commission of India (ECI) admitting that the state is not willing to conduct polls for two vacant seats due to monsoon weather conditions,” the official said.
When DT Next contacted former chief electoral officer Naresh Gupta for his views on the by-polls being delayed, the official explained that the job of conducting elections is always vested with the ECI. ECI considers various factors like readiness to conduct elections, logistics, law and order and weather conditions. “In my view, elections cannot be postponed just like that as it is mandatory to fill the vacancy within six months. In my view, all the 20 seats will have to go to polls on the same day,” Naresh Gupta told DT Next.
“Both the Public Elections Department and the State Election Commission have now come under the cloud and are facing adverse criticism from the opposition for delaying by-polls and civic polls,” charged former Chennai mayor M Subramanian. “In Tamil Nadu, it is an age-old practice of conducting civic polls during October. Even the RK Nagar by-poll and the Thiruparankundram bypoll were conducted in December and November. This is a ploy by the AIADMK government to delay the polls and it is very unfortunate that the ECI is not conducting polls, hence, defeating the purpose of democracy.”
Meanwhile, Satta Panchayat Iyyakkam, in a statement, slammed the state government for introducing an ordinance in 2017 to delay the civic polls.
“Despite the High Court pulling up the State Election Commission, there is no response from the commission to conduct civic polls. The state government’s 2017 ordinance is the root cause for the delay of polls,” Satta Panchayat Iyyakam general secretary Senthil Arumugham said in a statement.
18 MLAs made scapegoats for TTV’s gains, says Udayakumar
Blaming TTV Dhinakaran for solely being responsible for the disqualification of the 18 MLAs, Revenue Minister RB Udayakumar said on Friday that while his supporters lost their MLA posts, he was now a legislator riding on the political turmoil within the party.
“Dhinakaran is responsible for the disqualification of 18 AIADMK MLAs and his supporters have become scapegoat for his personal benefits,” said Udayakumar. The MLAs have lost their posts, but Dhinakaran is now an independent MLA, he added.
All these MLAs belonged to the AIADMK but today after sidelining with Dhinakaran, they have lost their identity and the MLA posts. But Dhinakaran has benefitted a lot from the political developments, Udayakumar told reporters. Earlier on Friday, he reviewed the monsoon arrangements taken up in the state and briefed the Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami about the flood mitigation measures taken up in the state.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister on Friday inaugurated a mobile app and weather warning alert software developed through the regional integrated multi-hazard warning system based in Thailand.
The app and the warning system will alert the TN stake holders about the calamities and issue alerts related to floods and cyclone. Around Rs 1 crore has been spent to develop the TN Smart software applications.