Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah has written to the chief election commissioner recommending that elections in the two constituencies of Aravakurichi and Thanjavur should be held at the earliest, preferably before June 1. Rosaiah explained that any further delay in holding the polls “deprive the statutory rights of the members elected from these constituencies to vote in the ensuing election to the Rajya Sabha [on June 11]”, The Times of India reported.
Elections in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur were deferred after the Election Commission seized crores of rupees in cash as well as other gifts in the form of consumable items that were given to voters as bribes in exchange for votes. The polls, which were scheduled for May 23 after the initial deferment, were pushed by another three weeks as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J Jayalalithaa was scheduled to be sworn in that day.
The governor’s letter followed a meeting held with the Tamil Nadu chief electoral officer on May 23, during which V Senthil Balaji and M Rengasamy, candidates for Aravakkurichi and Thanjavur of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party, submitted petitions against the deferment. They appealed that polls were postponed without any authority of law and without the governor’s consent and would shorten the elected member’s tenure.