SC in reply to DMK's plea seeking by-elections in Tamil Nadu tells it can't decide timing; EC says bypolls will be held in reasonable time

The Election Commission assured the Supreme Court on Thursday that bypolls in Tamil Nadu would be held within a reasonable time after the apex court told that it can't determine the timings of the by-elections. The top court recorded EC's statement as it wrapped up the plea asking for bypolls in the southern state, CNN News18 reported.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) had sought bypolls in three Assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu — Tiruparankundram, Ottapidaram and Aravakurichi seats.

 SC in reply to DMKs plea seeking by-elections in Tamil Nadu tells it cant decide timing; EC says bypolls will be held in reasonable time

File image of the Supreme Court of India. AP

Earlier, in February, DMK president MK Stalin had urged the Election Commission to hold bypolls for 21 vacant Assembly seats in Tamil Nadu simultaneously with the Lok Sabha elections. A delegation headed by Rajya Sabha MP and DMK leader Kanimozhi submitted a letter addressed to the EC by Stalin at the office of the poll panel in New Delhi, a party release said in Chennai.

“We request the ECI to hold elections to the 21 Assembly seats along with election to 39 parliamentary seats in Tamil Nadu,” Stalin said in the letter, a copy of which was released to the media. The DMK chief said this would save the time of voters, the EC and government staff and also ease the burden on the public exchequer.

Of the 21 seats, as many as 18 had fallen vacant following the disqualification of ruling AIADMK MLAs loyal to ousted leader TTV Dhinakaran by the Assembly Speaker in September 2017, which was upheld by the Madras High Court in 2018. The court had also lifted an earlier stay on notifying the seats as vacant.

Two other seats are vacant after the death of sitting members — then DMK president M Karunanidhi (Tiruvarur) and AK Bose (Tiruparankundram) — while Minister Balakrishna Reddy representing Hosur constituency was disqualified after being sentenced to three-year imprisonment in a criminal case.

Stalin said, “Since the 21 Assembly seats form part of the some of the 39 parliamentary constituencies, it would be easy to enforce election-related guidelines including the model code of conduct...” Such a move would also benefit political parties as there would be no need to conduct separate poll campaigns, the DMK president said. “Also, electoral rolls are going to be the same for both the elections, logic demands that the elections must be held together,” Stalin said.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Mar 28, 2019 12:15:55 IST