Staff Reporter

Failure to give draft list of polling stations causes uproar

THENI: An all-party meeting convened at the Collectorate here on Monday to discuss the draft list of polling stations meant for the local body elections in the district ended in confusion and commotion, as election officials "failed" to circulate the list among party men even after the commencement of the meeting.

The meeting was presided over by the District Revenue Officer, V. Palanikumar.

At the outset, the district election officials told that the meeting was a preliminary one to discuss change, alteration or any modification, if necessary, in the number of polling stations.

Representatives of various parties, mainly the Opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, asked how they could discuss polling stations without the list and questioned why the officials did not circulate the list.

Even leaders of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the Congress, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India, flayed the "failure" of the officials in providing the list and wanted to know the reason for the inordinate delay.

After a prolonged uproar, the officials convinced the representatives and tried to continue the discussion.

The situation turned worse when the party men got information on the reduction in number of polling stations, at least 15 stations from the existing list.

"How the election officials reduced the number of polling stations when there was a sharp increase in number of voters compared to the total voters in the last Assembly elections held in May," they said.

Pandemonium reigned in the hall for a long time.

After an endless argument, all leaders, who took part in the meeting, unanimously appealed to the District Revenue Officer to take immediate steps to give the draft list and convene another all party meeting for a meaningful discussion.

Reacting, Mr. Palanikumar said that the list would be given to them well in advance.

Later, the meeting was concluded without any discussion on the draft list.

The AIADMK district secretary, Thangathamizhselvan, the DMK district secretary, L. Mookaiah, the Congress leader, P.K. Chins, the CPI-M representative, Venkatesan, and representatives of other parties took part in the meeting.