A week after the Election Commission announced that the bypoll for Tamil Nadu’s Tiruvarur Assembly constituency will be held on January 28, political parties in the state have raised demands to defer the bypoll, citing relief work in the region following Cyclone Gaja. The Tiruvarur seat fell vacant after the death of former DMK supremo M Karunanidhi in August last year.
CPI’s MP D Raja made a representation before the EC, demanding that the bypoll be deferred, following which the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Satyabrata Sahoo asked Tiruvarur Collector and the District Election Officer for their comments.
Following the EC’s direction, the district administration Saturday received opinions from all political parties, with all major parties seemingly agreeing on the bypoll being deferred. “All parties expressed that the bypoll can be deferred. We agree with views of all other parties,” state Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said the ruling AIADMK is not afraid of contesting the Tiruvarur bypoll. Regarding the delay in announcing the party’s candidate for the seat, he said there is time till January 10 to file nominations.
Sources in the DMK said the party is against the idea of facing a bypoll just a few months before the Lok Sabha polls. “The problem is any minor trend in this poll would affect Lok Sabha polls. Even if we win the election, it would be a major set back if the winning margin is less than what we had earlier,” a DMK leader said.
A top Tamil Nadu official said the government hopes that the bypoll is deferred. “We assume that the bypoll is likely to be deferred considering the fact that Tiruvarur region is struggling to make a come back after Cyclone Gaja,” the official said.