TAMIL NADU

22 papers accepted

PONDICHERRY, APRIL 24. The returning officer of Pondicherry, V Candavelou, has found 22 of the 26 nominations in order. The papers of dummy candidates were rejected as papers of official candidates were accepted, the Assistant Returning Officer, G. Ragesh Chandra, said.

Plea rejected

P. R. N. Tirumurugan (Independent), earlier, sought the rejection of the papers of Pattali Makkal Katchi candidate, M. Ramadoss, on the contention of continuing in government service, and not having resigned as Professor of Department of Economics, Pondicherry University.

After hearing both sides, the Returning Officer overruled the objection. Mr. Chandra said Mr. Ramadoss was not in government service as he was being paid by the varsity.

Advocate Selvashanmugham, who represented Mr. Tirumurugan, said his client would take the matter before a judicial forum for remedy.

Nomination challenged

The State president of Indian Union Muslim League, K.M. Khader Mohideen, will contest from Vellore as Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate, following his production of the party's membership card, in the wake of objections raised by All-India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's Rajya Sabha member, N. Jothi, during scrutiny of papers by the returning officer, A.C. Mohandoss, today.

Mr. Jothi protested on the grounds that as per the Election Symbols Order, Mr. Mohideen, being the IUML State president, could not be vested with the form `A' and `B' signed by the DMK, and its symbol since he is not a party member, nor can claim to be so.

"Only a person who is a basic member or party cardholder can be given the reserved symbol of that political party. The same cannot be allotted to others by the returning officer," he said.

The Vellore district DMK presidium chairman, T.A. Mohammed Saqhy, came back with a fax copy of the DMK membership card of Mr. Mohideen. As per the card (dated, April 1, 2004), Mr. Mohideen was a party member in the 43rd ward of Tiruchi Corporation. His nomination was later accepted.

Mr. Jothi told newspersons that in view of the fact, "as admitted by Mr. Saqhy" that Mr. Mohideen was a DMK candidate, the IUML couldn't claim to be its ally in the Democratic Progressive Alliance. No seat therefore has been allotted in the DPA to candidates of the IUML, and Mr. Mohideen should not project himself before the electorate as an IUML candidate, but as DMK candidate. In effect, the DMK is contesting 16 and not 15 seats in the elections, he said.

Of the 22 candidates who filed their nominations, 19 are in the fray for the Vellore constituency after the rejection of papers of two candidates, P.Shanmugam (DMK substitute), N.Kalaivani (AIADMK substitute) and the withdrawal of nomination by Janata Party substitute, G.Sambandam.

In the Arakkonam, of the 25 candidates, nominations of three were rejected, leaving 22 in the fray. Papers of K.L. Ilavazhagan (PMK substitute), S.Rani (AIADMK substitute) and Independent, A.Velu (for being underage), were rejected.

Of the 21 candidates who filed nominations for the Vandavasi constituency, the Tiruvannamalai returning officer, Dheeraj Kumar rejected the papers of six on Saturday. A total of 19 candidates are left in the fray in Tirupattur, after the returning officer, M. Vallalar, rejected the nomination of one candidate, while one more withdrew his nomination.

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