The Congress-led United Democratic Front has decided to pursue the tampering of voters’ list for the just concluded Kannur Assembly by-election in the courts and before the Chief Election Commission and the State Election Commission.

Announcing this at a press conference in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, the Kerala Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy said his party and the UDF proposed to pursue these cases as a deterrent against any attempts to resort to such malpractices in future.

He expressed his satisfaction at the measures taken by the Election Commission to ensure free and fair elections in the three by-elections in the State, Mr. Chandy said the UDF and the Congress did not propose to rest on their laurels by winning the three seats, but would continue the fight against electoral malpractices and restore the people’s trust in the democratic process.

The Congress and the UDF had accused the Communist Part of India (Marxist) of tampering with the voters’ list in the run up to the by-election in Kannur. Subsequently, the Election Commission had announced a series of measures to address this issue. Mr. Chandy said the UDF would contest these cases with evidence at all levels.

The credit for the Congress candidates’ victories goes to the UDF and Congress workers who stood united and worked for their success, he said. There were differences of opinion about the candidate selection, but once the party took a decision, all leaders and workers fell in line and worked for the candidates’ victory.

In reply to a question on whether the Achuthanandan ministry should resign owing responsibility for the electoral defeat, Mr. Chandy said the issue was related to one’s conscience and moral positions and he did not want to make any comment on this. However, the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues had claimed during electioneering that the by-elections would be an evaluation of the LDF’s rule. The Left parties were going through a bad phase ever since they withdrew support to the United Progressive Alliance last year, he said.


No plan to advance polls: Biman Bose November 15, 2009