Tiruvarur by-poll: Election Commission seeks urgent report

Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Satyabrata Sahoo has asked Tiruvarur Collector and District Election Officer (DEO) L Nirmal Raj their opinion on conducting Tiruvarur by-election.
According to sources, the CEO has sought a report by Saturday evening. Thsi follows after a representation made by CPI veteran D Raja, demanding that the by-election be deferred in the light of ongoing relief work in areas hit by the Cyclone Gaja. Sahoo said, "CPI Rajya Sabha MP D Raja has filed a petition in the Surpeme Court. Following this the Election Commission wanted to know whether it is possible to conduct the byelection at all."

The CEO has sought a report from the Returning Officer of Tiruvarur to give his ‘assessment’ about the situation prevailing there. Only on Thursday, the Madras high court refused to stay the January 28 Tiruvarur by-election. A plea was been filed in HC to forbear the Election Commission from conducting the by-poll to Tiruvarur constituency, stating that the election would affect relief work undertaken in the region following Cyclone Gaja.

In his public interest litigation, V Sathyanarayanan, general secretary of Kaveri Delta Farmers Union, said once the gazette notification was issued on January 3, the model code of conduct would come into force and the poll body would be in charge of the situation. "There will be a number of restrictions. As a result, people in Thiruvarur constituency will not be able to get the benefit of the ongoing relief work and celebrate Pongal festival in a free manner," he said.