In the backdrop of 18 disqualified MLAs making it clear that they are not going to appeal against the Madras High Court order, the AIADMK government is now working overtime assessing the pending civic projects in the constituencies. The assessment has been expedited in all the 20 vacant assembly seats that are likely to face elections next year, admit Secretariat sources.
“The state has instructed all the district collectors to complete the pending civic works in the 20 seats that are ready to go for bypolls. A blueprint on the projects that has to be completed by local bodies, rural development, highways, PWD and TNEB is getting prepared by the field officials concerned,” a senior government official told DT Next.
Districts like Theni, Madurai, Thoothukudi, Thanjavur, Karur, Vellore and Sivagangai are now the cynosure of authorities, where more than 12 of the vacant 20 seats are located in these districts, the official said.
“The idea is to float tenders and keep the projects ready so that the model code of conduct does not disrupt the development projects. This is usually done when elections are anticipated. In fact, the entire state will undergo this phase after December as the Lok Sabha polls are expected in five months. After March only the ongoing schemes can be continued and there is nothing political about it,” explained a senior official requesting anonymity.
“The AIADMK has appointed election in charges for 20 assembly seats and now through them, all the ignored basic amenities will be improved and this is something common ahead of polls. All these days the government ignored these constituencies deprived of local MLAs and councillors,” said Sukumar Babu, organising secretary, AMMK. The voters are clever and would understand such hasty behaviour. A similar exercise was carried out in RK Nagar, but the public voted for us, noted the former floor leader of Chennai Corporation.
It may be noted that apart from the two vacant seats due to the demise of DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi (Tiruvarur) and AK Bose (Tiruparankundram) elections to the 18 seats is now imminent as the MLAs disqualification has been upheld by the Madras High Court.
A three-cornered contest likely in these seats as the rebel Dhinakaran camp is also gearing up for the bypolls along with the DMK.