Leaders call for elections in Tamil Nadu

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Chennai, Oct 25 (IANS) Leaders of various political parties on Thursday called for holding Assembly polls in Tamil Nadu instead of by-elections for 20 constituencies now vacant following the disqualification of dissident AIADMK legislators.
Their call comes in the wake of Madras High Court upholding Speaker P. Dhanapal’s decision to disqualify 18 dissident AIADMK legislators last year. They owed allegiance to T.T.V. Dhinkaran, now an independent legislator and formerly with the AIADMK.
In a statement issued here, former Union Minister Anbumani Ramadoss of PMK said there was a case pending in the Madras High Court against Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and several other AIADMK legislators for their disqualification as they had voted against the confidence motion moved by Chief Minister K. Palaniswami.
Ramadoss said if the judgment goes against Panneerselvam and others, there would be horse trading by the ruling party to continue in power.
According to him, to put an end to all confusion, Assembly polls should be held in the state and not just the by-polls in the 20 constituencies.
Senior Congress leader and former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram also said it would be proper to hold Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu.
Chidambaram tweeted that by-polls in Tamil Nadu cannot be avoided after Thursday’s Madras High Court verdict. However, he said instead of holding bypolls in 20 Assembly constituencies, it would be proper to hold a full-fledged Assembly election in the state.
But DMK President M.K. Stalin said the Election Commission should hold by-polls in the vacant Assembly seats immediately.
MDMK leader Vaiko urged the poll body to conduct the by-polls immediately. He said these should not be held along with Lok Sabha polls.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami said the AIADMK was ready to face by-elections in all the 20 vacant Assembly constituencies.
“Owing to practical difficulties, the by-polls for two constituencies (Thiruparankundram and Tiruvarur) has been deferred,” Palaniswami said.
The Election Commission had skipped announcing bypolls for Thiruparankundram and Tiruvarur constituencies as the government said it would not be possible to hold the elections there due to the northeast monsoon and a pending court case.

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