EC is spineless, toothless, charges Anbumani

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Chennai: A day after the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) lost in all the constituencies, its chief ministerial candidate took a dig at the State Election Commission (EC) for its inefficiency in preventing money distribution to voters.

“The EC here is a total failure. Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Rajesh Lakhoni might be a nice person but he is innocent too. If all the complaints should be forwarded to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), there is no need for a local body to monitor elections in the State. Also, a CEO must not be from State cadre because if he is, he will be biased towards his higher officials and cannot act against them. He cannot go against his Chief Secretary or Home Secretary,” he said, calling the State EC spineless and toothless.

Being the chairman of the Dharmapuri Vigilant and Monitoring Committee, the collector was not present during the review meetings, he alleged, and charged that his complaints of bribery were not entertained.

On the action taken against money distribution in Aravakurichi, he lashed out that since the money distributed there was of a higher denomination, there was a difference in the attitude. As in other constituencies a lesser amount was distributed, they were indifferent towards it, he said.

He also urged CEC Zaidi to come down hard on people indulging in the malpractice of bribing voters.

“Either the candidate or the party should be disqualified in order to curb such illegal activities. As an MP, I will take forward the initiative to bring about necessary changes in the Representation of the People Act,” he said.

However, he expressed satisfaction over the influence that his party had on other parties whom he alleged had copied their manifesto. “Prohibition, demand for a Lokayukta, refusal for freebies distribution are some of the measures that we first came up with and other parties followed suit. We have shown the way forward for others this way and will continue to play our role as a responsible Opposition,” he assured.

“Other parties consider politics as a business while we do it as a service,” he said.