TAMIL NADU

Decision to allow Dinakaran to contest surprising: Swamy

MADURAI, APRIL 24. The Janata Party president, Subramanian Swamy, has expressed "surprise" at the Election Commission's decision to allow the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam candidate, T. T. V. Dinakaran, to contest from Periyakulam.

In a statement here today, Dr. Swamy said, "The Commission has erred in law by holding that Dinakaran is entitled to be a candidate in the elections because he holds an Indian passport".

The law was very clear that holding an Indian passport entitled a person to contest only and if, in addition, that person was a resident in any constituency in which he became a voter (Section 19 of the Representation of the People Act 1951). Since Mr. Dinakaran was "a self-confessed NRI, as a `permanent resident', of Singapore", he could not be a "resident in any constituency of India" and "cannot be a voter or a candidate," Dr. Swamy argued.

The Janata Party president said he would file a writ petition in the Supreme Court soon after the elections to challenge "this flawed order of the Election Commission".

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