EC decision incorrect, says Chidambaram

COIMBATORE, JAN. 20. The leader of the Congress Jananayaga Peravai,

P. Chidambaram, today termed incorrect the Election Commission decision to put off the byelection for Saidapet and Vaniyambadi and allow it for Andipatti.

Irregularities in voter list had been reported from Andipatti as much as from the other two constituencies. But it was strange that the Andipatti byelection had not been deferred. ``This is one of the strange things happening in the State'', Mr. Chidambaram told presspersons here. ``Now, the malpractices spread over all three constituencies would be concentrated in Andipatti''.

Referring to the decision of the Congress, the Left parties and the Tamil Maanila Congress to boycott the bypoll, he said there were `good grounds' for it.

He said the CJP did not attach any significance to the byelection, as ``it would not have any impact on the Government. Irrespective of the results, the AIADMK would continue to rule''.

Asked whether it would be a referendum on the AIADMK rule, Mr. Chidambaram said, ``there is no chance that the Andipatti people will express resentment against the ruling party''.

Answering the question whether the CJP would accept an offer from the TMC and the other erstwhile allies of the AIADMK to work together, he said there was a need for an introspection on the part of the TMC to make its stand clear. ``The partymen are in a sad situation. I share their grief but let them first analyse why the party is in such a situation. Let the TMC think over why it was formed in 1996 and why it split in 2001''.

On the chances of realignment, Mr. Chidambaram said it was not possible for the CJP alone to do it. ``The Left, the Congress, the TMC and the Dalit groups can come together to offer an alternative to the DMK and the AIADMK''.

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