From India News Network (INN)
New Delhi, April 29: We are releasing herewith a letter addressed to the Chief Election Commissioner by Prakash Karat, CPI(M) General Secretary, on the situation prevailing in the Madurai Parliamentary Constituency in Tamilnadu where the CPI(M) candidate P. Mohan is pitted against the DMK candidate and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's son M K Azaghiri.
Text of the Letter
April 28, 2009
The Chief Election Commissioner
Election Commission of India
Dear Shri Chawla,
I am writing to you regarding the situation prevailing in the Madurai Lok Sabha constituency in Tamilnadu. Our Party candidate, Shri P. Mohan, is contesting this seat. The DMK has put up M.K. Azhagiri, who is the son of the Chief of the state. The past few weeks have witnessed gross misuse of the official machinery and an unprecedented use of money and goods to lure voters. There have been physical attacks against the CPI(M) workers including an MLA.
In a recent by-election to the legislative assembly in Thirumangalam in Tamilnadu, there was an unprecedented use of money power. What we are witnessing in Madurai is Thirumangalam on a larger scale.
I am enclosing a note listing out the complaints made by our Party and the candidate's election agent. No effective and serious steps have been taken to stop the malpractices and ensure a free and fair poll.
I urge you therefore to intervene in the matter and see that the District Election Officer, the City Police Commissioner and the Public Relations Officer are immediately transferred out of their present responsibilities. Impartial offices must be assigned poll duties. The Commission should send special observers to see that there is no misuse of the official machinery and the blatant violation of the Model Code of Conduct is put a halt to.
I wish to emphasise that immediate action needs to be taken if the polls are not to be vitiated in Madurai.
encl: Note on the situation in Madurai Parliamentary Constituency
NOTE ON MISUSE OF OFFICIAL MACHINERY, VIOLATION OF MODEL CODE, ADOPTING UNFAIR/UNLAWFUL METHODS FOR SOLICITING VOTES AND FAILURE OF THE DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION TO STOP ALL THESE ACTIVITIES IN THE GENERAL ELECTIONS (2009) FOR THE MADURAI PARLIAMENTARY CONSTITUENCY IN TAMILNADU
The Communist Party of India (Marxist), which is contesting the 15thGeneral Elections (2009) from the Madurai Parliamentary Constituency has been continuously bringing to the knowledge of the Chief Electoral Officer, Tamilnadu about various forms of malpractices and misuse of official machinery by the ruling party to influence the voters in the elections. Though various well meaning warnings had been issued by the CEO it had little effect on such nefarious activities of the ruling party and its leaders here and such activities are on the increase as the date of election draws closer. The ruling DMK and its candidate had invented new forms to bribe the voters and influence their decision. The District administration instead of intervening for the conduct of free and fair elections is aiding and abetting the unlawful methods adopted by the DMK candidate. The instances listed below explain the nature of such complaints given by the District Secretary, MLA and Election Agent of our party and other wings of the party.
1. Complaint against distribution of consumer goods to voters by the DMK (dated 03.03.2009)
2. Complaint against conducting Medical camp in the name of birthday celebration of the DMK candidate (dated 03.03.2009)
3. Complaint against the District Election Officer for not taking action against violation of model code of conduct (dated 05.03.2009)
4. Complaint against bulk applications for inclusion in the voters list (dated 20.03.2009)
5. Complaint against distribution of cash, sarees etc to the voters by the DMK and distribution of cash to self help groups (dated 28.03.2009)
6. Complaint against distribution of money to the voters by the DMK (dated 31.03.2009)
7. Complaint against using the marriage halls for preparing pockets of cash by the DMK (dated 03.04.2009)
8. Complaint on utilising places of worship for electoral campaign by DMK candidate (dated 08.04.2009)
9. Complaint by Nanmaran MLA (CPI –M) for changing the District Collector of Madurai for his partisan behaviour (dated 15.04.2009)
10.Complaint of inaction by the police against the murderous attack on Mr.Vijaya Rajan party member (dated 15.04.2009)
11.Complaint against disruption of CPI (M) election meeting by DMK men (dated 16.04.2009)
12.Complaint against misuse of police machinery to arrest our cadres on false complaints by the ruling party (dated 16.04.2009)
13.Complaint against inaction by the police against the murderous attack on Mr.Nanmaran.MLA (dated 17.04.2009)
14.Complaint against misuse of office by the Public Relations Officer for electoral campaigns of the DMK candidate (dated 18.04.2009)
15.Complaint against distribution of ‘tokens’ to the voters by the DMK men in Madurai Lok Sabha constituency (dated 22.04.2009)).
Many of these complaints were handed over to the Chief Electoral Officer in the state then and there. In spite of bringing these things to the notice of the authorities in time, no serious action for stopping such activities has been taken so far. This had strengthened the hands of the perpetrators of such unlawful electioneering methods. If the District Election Officer, City Commissioner of Police and the PRO are not immediately transferred out of their present assignment, the election in Madurai Parliamentary constituency would become a farce.
We urge the Election Commission to take immediate measures to stop the gross malpractices occuring in this parliamentary constituency. We request you to post honest and impartial officials for poll duties in the constituency. We also request you to send special observers in view of the blatant use of illegal money power and misuse of official machinery.