The Election Commission has decided to cancel the the bye-elections to the Thiruvarur assembly constituency that was scheduled for January 28. The state government and the Thiruvarur administration had appealed for deferment saying they were preoccupied with relief work after Cyclone Gaja.
As a consequence of the cancellation of its January 3 notification announcing the by-election on January 28, actions and steps taken by the Returning Officer for the constitutency were “declared null and void.”
issued an order on Sunday stating that since Cyclone Gaja relief works are in progress in the district, it would not be possible to conduct elections in the constituency. “…Taking note of the fact that necessary relief and rehabilitation measures in the area affected by the Cyclone Gaja are required to be undertaken by the State Government of Tamil Nadu and the district administration of Thiruvarur, which has to conduct the said bye-election, continues to be pre-occupied with the relief and rehabilitation works, the Commission is of the considered view that the process of conduct of bye-election from 168-Thiruvarur Assembly Constituency of Tamil Nadu cannot be continued at present,” read the notification.
In its order, the Election Commission stated that the bye-election would be held in due course when “the situation becomes conducive to holding free, fair and peaceful election.
All the major political parties in the state, the ruling AIADMK, DMK, Congress and CPM had demanded that the by-election be postponed as it would impact the cyclone Gaja relief work in the constituency.
Welcoming the Election Commission’s decision, BJP’s Tamil Nadu President Tamilisai Soundararajan said in a statement that the need of the hour in Thiruvarur was “relief and not election”.