Erode (East) bypoll | C. Ve. Shanmugam moves Madras High Court insisting fair election

He insists on deployment of Central paramilitary forces and identification of voters only through their identity cards and not the booth slips

Updated - February 16, 2023 01:47 pm IST

Published - February 15, 2023 10:11 pm IST - CHENNAI

C.Ve. Shanmugam. File

C.Ve. Shanmugam. File | Photo Credit: LAKSHMINARAYANAN E

AIADMK organising secretary C.Ve. Shanmugam has moved the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the Election Commission to ensure free and fair byelection in the Erode (East) Assembly constituency on February 27 by deploying Central paramilitary forces and permitting identification of voters only through their identity cards and not the booth slips.

His writ petition has been listed for admission before the First Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice T. Raja and D. Bharatha Chakravarthy on Thursday. In an affidavit filed through his counsel Gowtham Kumar and C. Vigneswaran, the petitioner said the Assembly seat fell vacant on January 4 after the death of E. Thirumahan Everaa and there was a six-month time for the Election Commission to fill the vacancy.

Yet, the Commission notified the byelection within two weeks. Immediately, the AIADMK began a door-to-door survey to verify the voters’ list and “the exercise started giving extremely shocking results”, Mr. Shanmugam said.

He said several names in the list were those of non-existing people. Further, there were several double entries of the same names, and the names of the dead had not been deleted.

Fearing that the ruling party might use it for rigging the byelection, the petitioner said his party made a representation in this regard to the Election Commission, but the Chief Electoral Officer did not act on it.

Of the 2,26,867 names in the voter list, a huge number — 30,056 names — were not those of the local residents. Further, 7,947 names were those of the dead and 1,009 names had double entries, the petitioner said.

Recalling that the margin of victory during the last elections was only around 8,500 votes, the petitioner said the discrepancies in the electoral roll might be to the benefit of the candidate supported by the ruling party.

He also alleged that the voters were being bribed by the ruling partymen but the law enforcement authorities were doing nothing about it. The Collector and the Superintendent of Police were acting as ‘yes- men’ for the ruling party, he said.

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