Says he was being prevented from campaigning after the party announced his candidature for the constituency

The Pattali Makkal Katchi’s candidate for the Arakkonam Lok Sabha constituency and former Union Minister of State for Railways, R. Velu has submitted a petition to the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Vellore Range seeking the transfer of P. Vijayakumar, Superintendent of Police, Vellore district for his “discriminatory and indifferent attitude towards the PMK and its functionaries”.

Talking to The Hindu, Mr. Velu said that soon after the PMK announced his candidature for the Arakkonam constituency in October last year, he started his campaign in the constituency on October 21 and continued the campaign till December 23, when he was prevented from campaigning by the Deputy Superintendents of Police of Arakkonam and Ranipet under Section 30 (2) of the Police Act, citing law and problems which arose in some pockets of the constituency.

The candidate said that on January 31, he submitted to the District Revenue Officer a petition addressed to the Collector (on the instructions of the Collector who was away in Kammavanpet) requesting him to review the ban on campaigning.

A copy of the petition was also given to the SP. He also met the SP in Sholinghur and requested him to review the ban after explaining to him that his campaign was only intended to seek the support of the people for the PMK and not to create any law and order problem.

The SP told him that the Collector, in his capacity as District Magistrate, discussed with him the petition which he had addressed to him and that the petition was engaging the Collector’s attention. Mr. Velu said that since no action was taken on his petitions to the Collector, he met him (the Collector) here on Tuesday and requested him to provide security for him during the campaigning since his car was attacked in Ranipet on February 14.

He said that he planned to meet the Chief Electoral Officer and the Inspector General of Police, North Zone at Chennai on Wednesday and submit to them petitions seeking the SP’s transfer. If the SP was not transferred, he would meet the Governor on February 27 and press for the transfer. “I have no comments on Mr. Velu’s plea for my transfer”, said Mr. Vijayakumar when this correspondent sought his comments on the petition.

As for the action taken by the police in restraining his campaign, the SP said that all actions on regulation of public meetings or rallies, either as part of election campaigning or in general, were taken by the competent authorities keeping in mind the public order.

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