Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo on Monday held a meeting with representatives of political parties in Tamil Nadu to explain the Model Code of Conduct and other election modalities to them.
Representatives of the DMK, the Congress, the BJP, the CPI(M), the CPI and the AIADMK took part in the meeting. Among the issues they raised was the EC’s decision not to hold Bypolls to three of the 21 vacant Assembly constituencies on account of pending election petitions. They demanded that Bypolls be held in all the 21 seats on April 18.
The CEO reportedly told them that it would be possible if the petitions were withdrawn.
R.S. Bharathi, of the DMK, told reporters, “We asked him to conduct Bypolls to the three constituencies as well. The CEO said that if the case was withdrawn from the court, there was a possibility of obtaining permission from the EC and holding elections.”
The issue was also raised by S. Ezhumalai of the CPI(M). The party also asked the CEO to look into the issue of duplications in the electoral rolls.
Mr. Bharathi said the party had asked the CEO to direct the Madurai Collector to convene an all-party meet on holding the polls on April 18, as the date coincided with the Chithirai festival.
“We also asked the CEO to make arrangements for those attending the religious festival to be able to vote,” he said. The party had also asked the EC to ensure that criminals were kept under watch to prevent violence during or in the run-up to the election.
AIADMK MLA and Deputy Speaker of the Assembly Pollachi Jayaraman said the party had assured the CEO that it would follow all the instructions issued by the EC. “But we have asked the EC to let water schemes continue to ensure regular water supply during summer,” he added.