Election Commission of India on Wednesday will hear O Panneerselvam, Sasikala factions over AIADMK symbol even as Tamil Nadu politics is gearing up for for the April 12 byelection to R K Nagar assembly constituency. The byelection will be held to fill the vacancy caused by the death of late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa. BJP too had jumped on the bandwagon.
Noted music composer and BJP candidate from R K Nagar assembly constituency Gangai Amaran yesterday had called on Superstar Rajinikanth. During the brief meeting, Rajinikanth wished Gangai Amaran ‘success’ in his political innings, the latter’s son Venkat Prabhu said in a tweet. “Today our thalaivar @superstarrajini met and wished my dad for his political victory in #RKNagarByElection #happyson #GangaiAmaran,” Prabhu’s tweet said.
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He also posted a picture of his father with Rajinikanth at the latter’s residence. Gangai Amaran, who joined the BJP in 2014, has been fielded by the party to contest the RK Nagar seat, He had recently come out in the open alleging that AIADMK interim General Secretary V K Sasikala had ‘arm twisted’ him in parting with his property in the city outskirts in 1994 during the first regime of Jayalalithaa. The music director had also lauded AIADMK rebel leader O Panneerselvam for his defiance of Sasikala.
Meanwhile, a petition has been filed in the Madras High Court against the candidature of AIADMK Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran on the ground he had been penalised in FERA cases. Petitioner P A Joseph, a city resident, referred to cases against Dinakaran under Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA), including one in which a Rs 28 crore penalty has been slapped on him. It was recently also confirmed by the high court.
The petitioner has questioned the provision in the Representation of People Act which disqualified only convicted people from contesting elections. Parliament has no power to restrict the disqualification only to criminal conviction and cannot defer disqualification of a person found guilty of the charge of contravention of provisions of FERA, he has submitted.
Hence, he prayed the court to declare Sections 8(1)(c)and 8(1)(e) of the Representation of People Act, 1951 as “illegal and unconstitutional” in so far as restricting disqualification only in cases of criminal conviction. He sought an interim injunction restraining the Election Commission from accepting the candidature in respect of the persons against whom statutory adjudication proceedings under the FERA and Customs Act were concluded and punishment/penalty imposed.
The petitioner, who had previously filed a PIL seeking a judicial inquiry into the death of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, said the present question of law was never raised and decided. He said it should be decided at this juncture since Dinakaran had been declared the AIADMK candidate for the by-election.
The order of a division bench of the court holding Dinakaran guilty of the charge of contravention of provisions of the FERA cannot be simply brushed aside, he added.
(With agency inputs)