Pudukottai by-election on June 12

Hours before the Election Commission announced the schedule for the by-election to the Pudukottai Assembly constituency along with 25 other constituencies in different States and a Parliamentary constituency in Andhra Pradesh, the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) named Karthik V.R. Thondaiman as its candidate. Polling will take place on June 12 and the counting of votes on June 15.

Notification

The notification for the by-election will be issued on May 18, the day on which filing of nominations will also begin. The nominations will be scrutinised on May 26.

The last date for withdrawal of nominations is May 28, according to the schedule prepared by the Commission.

The by-election was necessitated by the death of Communist Party of India MLA S.P. Muthukumaran, who was killed in a road accident on April 1. In the 2011 Assembly elections, the CPI won the seat with AIADMK support.

The candidature of Mr. Karthik Thondaiman, Pudukottai Municipal Chairman, was announced in a release issued by AIADMK general secretary and Chief Minister Jayalalithaa.

Hailing from the Thondaiman family, which ruled the erstwhile Pudukottai princely state, the 42-year-old Mr. Karthik Thondaiman is the district MGR Youth Wing leader.

He is the son of Rajakumar Vijayaragunatha Thondaiman, who was elected to the Assembly from the constituency in 1967, 1977 and 1980 on Congress ticket.

Last year, the junior Thondaiman was elected Chairman of the Pudukottai Municipality, defeating the DMK nominee by a margin of 12,673 votes.

By announcing Mr. Thondaiman's candidature, Ms. Jayalalithaa took the lead again, as she did for the Sankarankovil by-election, in naming her party's nominee well ahead of others.

The total number of electors in Pudukottai is 1,92,314, of whom men account for 96,087 and women, 96,227.

Model code

With the by-election schedule announced, the District Collector has been advised to implement the model code of conduct, according to Chief Electoral Officer Praveen Kumar.

In a release, the CEO stated that the free distribution of goods and articles could not be done under government schemes.

A couple of weeks ago, the Chief Minister had announced in the Assembly a Rs.50-crore special development package for Pudukottai Municipality to mark of its 100th anniversary.

On Tuesday, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam president M. Karunanidhi had said that the government had begun election work in the constituency.

The CPI's State Executive will meet on Friday to decide the further course of action, C. Mahendran, assistant secretary, said.

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