OPS, Stalin, other candidates to publish their criminal cases ahead of polls

Ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls 2021, AIADMK convenor O Panneerselvam and DMK leader MK Stalin will have to publish a list of criminal cases pending against them in newspapers. Both OPS and Stalin have criminal cases related to rioting, assault and defamation suits pending against them.
DMK leader MK Stalin; AIADMK convenor OPS
DMK leader MK Stalin; AIADMK convenor OPS

Chennai

Other prominent MLAs and ministers with criminal records and corruption charges pending before the judiciary also include Minister of Municipal Administration SP Velumani, Minister of Health and Family Welfare C Vijaya Baskar, Senthil Balaji and MRK Panneerselvam. Meanwhile, there is no clarity from the Election Commission of India on the status of pending CBI enquiries related to Tami Nadu netas. According to public election department sources, the new notification is based on a recent Supreme Court direction and comes with immediate effect. “The new norm will be implemented in the upcoming Kanniyakumari Lok Sabha seat polls and the Assembly elections 2021,” sources said. A circular in this regard was sent to the registered political parties stating that the party’s fielding candidates with criminal antecedents should give advertisements in the newspapers detailing the FIR and case details. “First publicity should be within the first 4 days of the last date of withdrawal. Second publicity should be from 5th to 8th day of the last date of withdrawal and third publicity should be from 9th day till the last day of the campaign, which is two days before the date of poll. This timeline will help the voters in exercising their choices in a more informed manner,” the ECI circular read.
“The notification based on the apex court direction is a welcome move and this will bring improved transparency in the electoral process, however, the advertisement released by candidates detailing the criminal cases against them may not influence the voters much,” opined political commentator R Mani. “For instance, Stalin has several defamation suits filed against him by the AIADMK government. Similarly, TTV Dhinakaran has several cases, including the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, but such cases are already known to voters. Whether foisted or genuine cases, the criminal antecedent of the candidates seems to be a minor factor for the electorates,” he observed. “No candidate is going to narrate the criminal cases booked against them in the advertisement. This will be another electoral procedure for the contesting candidates,” said a former AIADMK MLA who is eyeing a ticket in Chennai.

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