Election time is back in Tiruchi West Assembly constituency. The by-election for this constituency covering a part of the Corporation area, is due to the untimely demise of N. Mariyam Pichai of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), elected from this constituency in the April 13 election, in a road accident near Tiruchi in May.

The Election Commission of India has already announced the election schedule for the by election which commences from Monday (September 19). The people of the constituency will witness the routine spectacle of filing of nominations, scrutiny of nominations, campaigning, polling, counting, all in the midst of tight security arrangements once again with in a gap of six months. Polling will be held on October 13 and counting will take place on October 17.

While the official machinery will be having a tough time for the almost a month in holding a free and fair elections, the political parties will be facing a litmus test once again ensure their support base with the local voters.

The district administration has already geared itself up for the by poll and is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the election code of conduct are implemented strictly, without giving any room for complacency.

Since this is the first by-election to be held in the state after the new regime assumed charge, it has raised lot of enthusiasm among the political outfits and also among all sections of the society and has attracted the attention of the neutral political observers from across the state.

Unlike in the past, when the by-elections were held with much fanfare spending huge sums, the by-election here has remained a low key affair from the very beginning, thanks to the strict vigil of the Election Commission of India.

Even though many residents of the city welcome the initiative of the Election Commission, a section of the people are of the view that the by-election concept should be done away with, as it only lead to waste of money and time.

Though many concede that the Election Commission has certainly been successful in curbing wasteful expenditure indulged in by political parties to a big extent, they also point out that the official machinery has to spend a lot for the elections and has to waste much manpower for the security arrangements.

Some point out that even in smaller nations like Sri Lanka, by elections are not in the itinerary of the election schedule, as the country followed proportional representation system of elections. In case of the death of the sitting MLA / MP, they observe that the party to which he/she belongs should be allowed to nominate its own member to complete the rest of the period.

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