DMK appeals ECI to save ‘deer’ of democracy from ‘hunter’ BJP

Chennai: Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) on Sunday appealed the Election Commission of India (ECI) to use its Constitutional powers, and save the ‘deer’ of democracy from the ‘hunter’ BJP by holding by-polls in 21 assembly seats along with the coming Lok Sabha elections, slated to be held between April-May.

DMK president MK Stalin said: “In order to have an alliance with AIADMK, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP has assured them for not conducting by-elections in 21 assembly seats along with the Lok Sabha polls.” “ECI must save the deer of democracy from the hunter of the BJP dictatorship,” he said.

“Without any compromising, I will ask the ECI to use the Constitutional powers to conduct by-elections for 21 assembly constituencies along with Lok Sabha elections,” he said.

The DMK president said: “If the ECI compromises under any pressure from the BJP-led Central government, a historic error black chapter will be created in the election history of India. It will lead to the worst consequences. I’d like to warn you!”

On February 8, a delegation headed by Rajya Sabha MP of DMK Kanimozhi visited the ECI in New Delhi, urging the top electoral body to hold by-polls for 21 assembly seats simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls, which will save time and money as well.

“DMK chief MK Stalin had asked us to meet the ECI and give representation to them. We submitted a letter stating that by-polls for 21 seats in Tamil Nadu should be held along with the parliamentary elections,” Kanimozhi told ANI.

Out of the 21 seats, 18 of them had fallen vacant after the disqualification of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) MLAs who had pledged support to TTV Dhinakaran were disqualified by Tamil Nadu Assembly Speaker Dhanapal. The Madras High Court too upheld the validity of the Speaker’s decision last year.

The disqualified MLAs were–S Thangatamilselvan (Andipatti), R Murugan (Harur), S Mariappan Kennedy (Manamadurai), K Kadirkamu (Periyakulam), Jayanthi Padmanabhan (Gudiyattam), P Palaniappan (Pappireddypatti), V Senthil Balaji (Aravakurichi), S Muthiah (Paramakudi), P Vetrivel (Perambur), NG Pathiban (Sholingur), M Kodandapani (Tiruporur), TA Elumalai (Poonamallee), M Rengasamy (Thanjavur), R Thangadurai (Nilakottai), R Balasubramani (Ambur), SG Subramanian (Sattur), R Sundaraj (Ottapidaram), and Uma Maheswari (Vilathikulam).

Two seats fell vacant following the demise of former chief minister M Karunanidhi (DMK-Tiruvarur) and A K Bose (DMK-Tiruparankundram) last year. State Minister P Balakrishna Reddy, who was the sitting MLA from Hosur, was sentenced to three years of imprisonment in a criminal case on January 7 this year.