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Poll boycott is a legitimate form of democratic protest: Jaya

Defending her party’s decision to boycott the August 18 by-elections to Tamil Nadu Assembly from five constituencies,AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa said it was a legitimate form of democratic protest.

Written by Agencies | Chennai |
July 23, 2009 5:36:43 pm

Defending her party’s decision to boycott the August 18 by-elections to Tamil Nadu Assembly from five constituencies,AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa today said it was a legitimate form of democratic protest and dismissed suggestions that the party was scared of defeat.

“Boycott is a perfectly ligitimate form of democratic protest. The fact remains that the democratic process is being vitiated and the only way to register our protest as a party is to boycott the polls,” she said in a statement.

She pointed out that Mahatma Gandhi prevailed upon the Congress party to boycott elections in 1920s to register protest against unfair British laws.

The AIADMK had on July 20 announced its boycott decision,saying it had no hopes of a fair,free and impartial polls with the DMK and the UPA at the helm.

Reiterating the charge that electoral process had been rendered “farcial” in the state ever since DMK came to power three years ago,she said AIADMK very reluctantly had to take the boycott decision.

“By doing so,We hope the eyes of the Union Government and the Election Commission will be opened.” Stating that there were reports that AIADMK had decided to boycott the byelections because it was scared of defeat,she said “from this,I assume that the real reasons behind the party’s decision to boycott have either been misunderstood or deliberately minconstrued by vested interests.”

Opposing the use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs),Jayalalithaa said EVMs had been discared by most developed countries like the US,Japan,Germany and the Netherlands as “unreliable and subject to hacking”.

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