Why double standards, asks Surjeet

MADURAI, APRIL 29. The CPI(M) general secretary, Mr. Harkishan Singh Surjeet, has come down heavily on the Election Commission for adopting double standards in accepting the nomination papers of convicted candidates.

Addressing a series of public meetings at Tirumangalam, Usilampatti and Tirupuvanam in support of the candidates of the secular front today, the veteran Marxist leader said, ``Two different standards'' had been adopted for acceptance of the papers. He wondered how the election authorities could reject the nomination papers of the AIADMK leader, Ms. Jayalalitha, in Tamil Nadu, and accept those of Mr. K. Balakrishna Pillai, who had been sentenced to five-year imprisonment, in Kerala. ``You can well imagine what type of law it is (when) only a plea being taken is that he is a sitting MLA'', Mr. Surjeet noted, asking whether ``sitting MLAs are allowed'' to commit murders or other in crimes.

However, he did not blame the DMK Government in Tamil Nadu for the rejection of Ms. Jayalalitha's nomination papers.

He was happy Ms. Jayalalitha declared courageously, after the rejection of her nomination papers in all four constituencies, that all the Assembly seats were her constituencies and she would fight and win them.

Mr. Surjeet said the `flag of secularism' had been handed over to the AIADMK supremo who, he hoped, would overcome all obstacles to hold it aloft and predicted that the victory secular forces in Tamil Nadu would make a tremendous impact on the country's `body politic.' ``The whole country is looking towards you. When the ballots are counted and the results are shown, Tamil Nadu will be in the forefront.'' The followers of Dravidian culture should protect the country from attacks coming from the forces of ``criminalism''. The people should unite together in order not to allow these forces to enter the ``Tamil Nadu field'', he added.

The communal BJP, he said, had also got snared in various scams, including the Tehelka expose, and its alliance should not be allowed to gain a foothold in Tamil Nadu. When the BJP tried to come to power in 1996, the CPI (M) tried to ward off the danger. Then, the DMK president, Mr. M. Karunanidhi, extended his party's support. But, unfortunately, he changed tack now. ``God knows what had happened to him,'' he wondered.

Earlier, addressing a public meeting at Usilampatti in support of Mr. L. Santhanam of the AIFB, Mr. Surjeet recalled his long association with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. The AIFB, he added, was a supreme soldier in the fight against communalism.

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