The by-election to the Pennagaram assembly constituency, slated for January 20, has been cancelled.

This was announced by Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta in an official release on Monday.

The move follows representations from some political parties for the postponement of the by-election as the Pongal festival would impinge on the by-poll.

On the direction of the Election Commission, Mr Gupta, on Sunday, held a meeting with representatives of a dozen parties. Except the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and Congress, the other 10 parties including the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Pattali Makkal Katchi, Communist Party of India and CPI(Marxist) wanted the election postponed.

The release stated that the Commission, taking note of the views of the political parties, had decided to rescind its earlier notification dated December 26, 2009, calling the by-election to Pennagaram.

The vacancy arose consequent on the demise of P.N. Periannan of the DMK early this month. The ruling party had even named its candidate.