EC to hold by-polls in 3 TN Assembly seats once petitions in court are withdrawn

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 12, 2019 19:21 hrs

[India], Mar 12 (ANI): The by-polls in three assembly seats of Tami Nadu—Aravakurichi, Ottapiadaram, and Tiruparankundram—will be held once the petitions in the court with regard to these constituencies are withdrawn, the Election Commission of India has told the DMK.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader T Siva on Tuesday, who met Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Sunil Arora, said: “The election panel has said that by-polls in three out of 21 Assembly constituencies will be held once the election petitions pending in the Madras High Court are withdrawn.”

The by-polls in 18 out of 21 Assembly seats will be held along the Lok Sabha elections on April 18 in Tamil Nadu, where 39 parliamentary seats are at stake.

Speaking to ANI after meeting Arora, T Siva said: “We put forth our plea to the Election Commission on behalf of the DMK asking why the poll panel amended its decision not to hold by-polls in three assembly seats, though initially announced to hold the by-polls in all 21 Assembly seats.”

“We told the EC that the petitions in the Madras High Court cannot be treated as a reason not to hold polls in three Assembly seats. However, CEC Arora told me that once the election petitions are withdrawn and the court gives an order, the by-polls in three assembly seats will be held,” he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a plea of the DMK, seeking a direction for the ECI to notify by-polls for three vacant Assembly seats along with 18 others for which by-elections have been scheduled for April 18, the day for Lok Sabha polling too.

Last month, DMK president MK Stalin issued a statement, which read: “In order to have an alliance with the AIADMK, BJP has given assurances for not conducting by-elections in 21 assembly constituencies along with LS elections. I would ask the Election Commission of India to use its Constitutional freedom to conduct by-elections for 21 assembly constituencies along with the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu.”

“If the Election Commission of India collides with the BJP, it will be a historic error and a black chapter in the election history of India,” warned Stalin.

On March 4, the Communist Party of India (CPI) and the DMK signed a poll pact on two constituencies for the Lok Sabha elections. On the other hand, the BJP and the AIADMK have also stitched a deal to fight the General Elections together in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

In the 235-member Assembly, the AIADMK has 115 members followed by DMK 88 and Congress eight, besides others. As many as 21 seats are still vacant.

The Election Commission had on Sunday announced the schedule for Lok Sabha elections. The dates for the seven phases are April 11, April 18, April 23, April 29, May 6, May 12 and May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23. (ANI)