As campaigning heats up for the November 19 polls to three Assembly segments in Tamil Nadu, DMK on Sunday urged the EC to deploy only officials who do not belong to Aravakkurichi and Thanjavur constituencies for election related duties to ensure “free and fair polls”. Election authorities have deputed the state government staffers and police personnel belonging to Thanjavur and Aravakkurichi constituencies for election duty in the same constituencies, DMK Organisation Secretary RS Barathi claimed.
He said the electoral officers of Karur (under which Aravakkurichi falls) and Thanjavur districts and Returning Officers of Aravakkurichi and Thanjavur Assembly constituencies have deputed local officials.
Hence, in view of deputation for poll work in their native areas, they are being given postal ballots, the Rajya Sabha member from DMK alleged.
Local officials from Aravakkurichi and Thanjavur constituencies on poll duty should be recalled immediately to “ensure free and fair polls,” he urged.
In a memorandum to Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and Chief Electoral Officer of Tamil Nadu, Rajesh Lakhoni, Barathi pointed out that no local staff or police personnel were engaged in Thiruparankundram Assembly constituency, where a by-election will be held.
The question of postal ballot does not arise there, he said.
Barathi sought deputation of officials from other districts in these two constituencies, while requesting the EC to invalidate the postal votes already registered and cancel any further postal polling in the two Assembly segments.
In Aravakkurichi constituency, V Senthil Balaji (AIADMK) and KC Palanisamy (DMK) and in Thanjavur, Anjugham Boopathy (DMK) and M Rengasamy (AIADMK) are among the candidates.
At Thirupparankundram, AIADMK has fielded AK Bose, while P Saravanan is the DMK nominee.
Besides, the AIADMK and DMK candidates, PMK, BJP and DMDK nominees too are contesting the polls. A number of Independents are also in the fray.
The four-party combine, People’s Welfare Front, comprising MDMK, CPI(M), CPI and VCK, has boycotted the polls.