N Sathiya Moorthy in Chennai
Amid tight security, Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam general secretary
Vaiko, who is detained under Prevention of Terrorism Act, cast his vote in the presidential poll at the Tamil Nadu assembly polling booth inside Fort St George, Chennai, on Monday evening.
Vaiko, who is a member of the Lok Sabha from Sivakasi constituency, thus became the first legislator to cast his vote in a presidential election from prison.
Earlier, Vaiko was brought from the Central Prison, Vellore, which is five-hours' drive from Chennai.
Abiding by the Madras high court order, which barred him from raising slogans or talking to the media, Vaiko made a quiet entry and exit.
MDMK's Union Minister of State for Revenue, 'Ginjee' N Ramachandran, talking to newsmen after casting his vote, denied that Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani had promised to consider the state government's request, if any, about imposing a ban on the MDMK.
"We are discussing various proposals and options," he said, and denied media reports that Vaiko's arrest was part of a deal between the MDMK and the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in the state.
Ramachandran also denied the arrest had anything to do with the transfer of the 'two-lakh-dollar case' against Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa from FERA to FEMA.
He also recalled the NDA coordination committee resolution, passed in Delhi on Sunday, condemning Vaiko's arrest.
Earlier, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief M Karunanidhi, who cast his vote in the morning, said, he would be happy if the Centre reviewed POTA, and brought in safeguards.
"I am going by media reports," he said, referring to Advani's reported promise in this respect.
The 11th President of India: Complete Coverage
The Presidency: A Special Series
Back to top
Tell us what you think of this report