Differently abled organisations here have taken strong objection to the State Election Commission's (SEC) choice of words.

Handbook

The SEC in its handbook for contestants has a list of what makes one eligible or ineligible to contest the elections.

Under section three of the ineligibles, the SEC says ‘sevuttoomai' to describe persons with hearing or speech disabilities.

Surya Nagappan of Caliber, an organisation for the differently abled, says that the SEC should have been careful with the choice of words and should have used ‘pesuvadhil, ketpathil kuraipadu ullavargal' to describe the persons with special needs.

The controversy does not end there, though.

The third section also states that persons with hearing or speech disabilities, intellectually challenged and persons affected by leprosy are ineligible.

Mr. Nagappan says that the SEC's rules go against such persons' democratic rights to contest elections.

Legislation

“The Government should immediately withdraw the conditions and come out with a fresh one providing opportunities for persons with special needs to contest elections.” “If required, it should also enact legislation for the purpose.”