OTHERS

A creditable show in the face of AIADMK violence: DMK

CHENNAI, NOV. 1. The performance of the DMK and its alliance partners in the local bodies elections was by and large good, despite alleged intimidation and capturing of booths and counting centres by ruling partymen with police connivance, the DMK president, Mr. M.Karunanidhi, said here today.

In the second phase of indirect elections too, the party did well, he claimed addressing newsmen here. The showing was all the more creditable considering that the ruling party members, including Ministers, `brazenly involved in violent' activities to get their party men elected. Mr. Karunanidhi cited the Madurai Deputy Mayoral election, where AIADMK men, unable to digest the DMK's victory, insisted on a repoll. But for the intervention by the State Election Commission, the Corporation Commissioner would have succumbed to the ruling partymen's pressure. ``Similar incidents were reported from other parts, where the ruling partymen took the law into their own hands, making a mockery of the democratic process itself.''

Referring to the appointment of fact-finding committees, Mr. Karunanidhi said they would study how far coordination between the DMK and its alliance parties worked at various levels, find reasons for the party's `shocking' defeat in places where it was expected to win, and assess its overall performance. After the study, the committees would submit reports for follow-up action.

On reports of cross-voting by some DMK councillors in certain municipalities and panchayats, he said such things were common at the lower level. But if it was a `deliberate' act to defeat the official party candidates, disciplinary action would be taken against them.

The DMK leader said allowing a candidate belonging to one State to contest in other states in Rajya Sabha elections was unacceptable to the party. The purpose of constituting the Rajya Sabha was to give representation to members belonging to various States. Only then, would the interest of the States be protected. ``How could you expect one elected from Bihar to represent the problems of Tamil Nadu,'' he asked.

On the POTO, Mr.Karunanidhi said there were no two opinions on crushing terrorism. But the legislation should have no scope for misuse, particularly for settling scores against Opposition parties. He hoped that a healthy discussion would emerge in Parliament on the basis of which a consensus became acceptable to all sections.

In this connection, he referred to the DMK's opposition to the MISA brought during Emergency as it contained draconian provisions against democratic norms.

`Victory for secular forces'

The TRC president, Mr. Vazhapadi Ramamurthi has described the local body elections verdict as a victory to secular forces led by the AIADMK and severe blow to the DMK.

In a statement, he said the electorate had given a fitting reply to baseless charges made against the AIADMK by the DMK.

Cong.to observe fast

The State Congress will hold a one-day protest fast near Valluvar Kottam here on November 3 condemning alleged electoral malpractices indulged in by AIADMK men during the civic polls.

In a statement, the TNCC president, Mr.E.V.K.S.Elangovan charged the police with having remained a mute spectator to the violence unleashed by ruling partymen despite a spate of complaints from Opposition parties.

The MDMK general secretary, Mr.Vaiko, deplored the AIADMK men's attack on the house of a party functionary at Kancheepuram who had won vice chairmanship of the Palavakkam panchayat union. If the police failed to take action against the AIADMK men, the MDMK would resort to a stir, he warned in a statement here.

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