Election Commission acting tough only to prevent bribing of voters and ensure fair polls: CPI(M) leader

While welcoming the Madras High Court's ruling that endorsed the Election Commission's restrictions for making sure free and fair election on April 13, State secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxist) G. Ramakrishnan has said that Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and his son and Deputy Chief Minister M.K. Stalin's assertions that compared these “genuine restrains” to ‘emergency period' were totally unwarranted and unjustifiable.

Speaking to reporters here on Saturday, Mr. Ramakrishnan said that the EC, which learnt a bitter lesson during the Tirumangalam by-poll, had imposed reasonable restrictions with the prime objective of preventing voters from being wooed with cash and gifts.

When the Left parties caught the culprits with cash and gifts during that by-election and handed them over to the police, the law-enforcers did not take any action against them even though the then Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta was known for his uprightness.

As the EC was now taking tough measures to curb all sorts of illegal strategies being adopted to fetch votes, the Madras High Court also had approved these measures for the conduct of peaceful and fair polls.

Agitated over this, Mr. Karunanidhi and his son were comparing it to ‘emergency period.'

“When emergency was clamped in the country, even basic democratic rights of citizens were denied through coercive measures. In the present scenario, the EC intends to prevent some politicians from bribing the voters for getting their votes and hence the situation cannot be equated to the ‘emergency period.'

And attacks were being unleashed on officials since a fear of defeat has started haunting the DMK,” Mr. Ramakrishnan said.

He condemned the attack on a tahsildar at Melur near Madurai on Friday and burning of the effigy of Madurai Collector U. Sagayam, “who is executing EC's instructions in a neutral fashion.”

Mr. Ramakrishnan predicted that the AIADMK-led alliance, gaining a lot from the present inflation, poor law and order situation, power cut, corruption etc., would register a resounding victory in the forthcoming Assembly elections as per the poll predictions.

He said that CPI(M) senior leaders Prakash Karat (April 5 to 7), Sitaram Yechury (April 3 to 5) and Brinda Karat would be campaigning in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.