State not to blame

Sir, - The disqualification of Ms. Jayalalitha is the result of institutional efforts over the last decade to fight the criminalisation of politics. It is unfair on her part to blame the State Government.

Articles 102 and 191 of the Constitution, Sections 8, 8A, 9, 9A, 10, 10A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and judgments in the following cases - Purshottamlal vs V.C. Shukla, Trupathi vs Duthhatha and Vikram Anand vs Ragheesh Singh clearly bar a candidate who has been convicted from contesting elections.

The Election Commission seeks a sworn affidavit from candidates that they were not convicted. Ms. Jayalalitha in her affidavit has accepted her sentence and conviction. Where then is the question of the State Government or the Chief Minister being involved in this?

Ms. Jayalalitha is citing the case of the Kerala MLA, Mr. R. Balakrishna Pillai, to justify her claim that the rejection of her papers was the handiwork of the State Government. The difference between the two is that Mr. Pillai enjoyed immunity as a sitting MLA while Ms. Jayalalitha did not as she did not hold any elected position at the time of filing the nomination. Mr. Pillai was a sitting MLA at the time of conviction as well as at the time of filing the nomination.

K.S. Radhakrishnan,


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