DMK Prez Stalin asks EC to conduct 3 assembly bypolls with LS


Chennai: A day after it was announced that polls for 18 vacant state assembly seats will take place along with Lok Sabha elections, DMK working president MK Stalin urged the Election Commission to hold polls in the remaining three vacant seats as well.

The Election Commission announced that bypolls will be held for only 18 out of 21 vacant state assembly seats along with the Lok Sabha polls on April 18. On Sunday it was announced that elections for the remaining three vacant seats will not be conducted due to pending legal disputes.

During the party’s district functionaries meeting on Monday held at Anna Arivalayam, Stalin passed a resolution demanding polls to be held on April 18 in three constituencies of Ottapidaram, Aravankuruchi and Thiruparankundram. These assembly seats have been vacant since 2016.

“Reasons provide by EC to not hold poll in these vacant assembly seats are baseless and without proof. At a time when state assembly seats are vacant, how can a minority government be in power?,” said Stalin while addressing media at the Arivalayam.

By postponing elections in these three constituencies alone, it is clear that EC has an hidden agenda said the resolution passed by the party. “In constituencies of Aravankuruchi and Thiruparankundram, when the Madras HC upheld the speaker’s decision of expelling the MLAs, what legal hurdle does the EC face in conducting polls?,” added the resolution.

Not conducting elections in all the 21 vacant seats would keep DMK-led alliance away from having a remote chance of securing a majority in the assembly. The DMK alliance presently has a strength of 97 in a house of 213. If the elections are conducted for all the 21 seats, the alliance had a remote chance of getting a majority if it manages to win all the 21 seats and raising it tally to 118 in a house of 234
(half-way mark is 117).

But now with elections being conducted only for 18 seats, even if the opposition party and its allies manages to win all 18 seats, it tally would only be 115, still one short of a simple majority in a house of 231.

On the other hand, the ruling AIADMK, with it present strength of 114 needs victory in just couple of the 18 seats to maintain a simple majority (116) in a house of 231.