Thanking the electorate of Madurai West for electing the Congress nominee K S K Rajendran in the by-poll, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Friday came down heavily on the Election Commission for 'causing hurdles right from when the poll date was announced.'
In a statement, he said the Election Commission ordered transfer of 176 police personnel, including two assistant commissioners on the plea that they hailed from the constituency or had worked there for more than three years.
On June 13 last, the commission instructed the state chief secretary to transfer Madurai district collector, Madurai central election officer who was also the revenue divisional officer of the district, city police commissioner, deputy commissioner (law and order) and two other police officials for allowing more than five persons to accompany the candidate while filing nomination papers, he said.
'In the electoral history of India, such an action was never taken,' he said adding that the commission also ordered the chief secretary to send a list of three names to substitute each of transferred officials, enabling it to select one.
The state, 'even without a murmur,' transferred all the officials within 24 hours and sent the list, he said, adding that the EC had rejected the names send for appointment of police commissioner and the RDO, and asked for fresh lists.
EC itself suggested a name for the RDO post and wanted the government to include the name in the panel, he said.
The Election Commission did not wait for the list of names for the post of Madurai Police Commissioner and appointed an officer on its own, Karunanidhi alleged.
Meanwhile, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supreme J Jayalalithaa alleged that the Congress' victory in the Madurai West bypoll was an outcome of a 'conspiracy' by its ruling ally, the DMK.
Describing the outcome as 'anticipated,' she said in a statement that the Chief Election Commissioner wanted to postpone the elections realising that the elections would not be held in a fair manner.
But the chief minister had been insisting that the elections should be held as scheduled, since postponing the polls would only prove that the law and order situation was not good in the state, she charged.
Karunanidhi had even 'threatened to go on a fast' if the polling was postponed, she claimed, adding due to his pressure, 'Congress president Sonia Gandhi intervened and gave trouble to the EC.'
M K Azhagiri, son of Karunanidhi, intimidated the voters to get an 'artificial victory,' she alleged.
She also wanted to know why the Election Commission went ahead with the polls, even after it came to the conclusion that situation in the constituency was 'not conducive' to hold elections.