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Cong wants transfer of Chief Secy, Home Secy

Written by: Staff
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Chennai, Mar 28 (UNI) Leaders of various political parties in Tamil Nadu today urged Election Commissioners to take all steps to ensure free and fair poll, even as the Congress demanded the transfer of the state Chief Secretary and Home Secretary.

In separate meetings with parties, convened by Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon and Election Commissioners Naveen Chawla and N Gopalaswamy at Raj Bhavan here, leaders of DMK, Congress and Pattali Makkal Katchi wanted the EC to ensure that the May 8 Assembly elections in the state were held in a free and fair manner.

Congress leaders Vijayan and Abbas Ibrahim, who called on the Commissioners, submitted a petition demanding the transfer of Chief Secretary N Narayanan and Home Secretary Pavan Raina.

They said the two officers, being 'close' to the government should not be allowed to remain in top posts till the poll process was over.

The officers, who were party to the petition filed by the state government challenging the EC's order transferring City Police Commissioner R Nataraj, would not act fairly, they alleged.

They wanted the Commission to depute top officials to the state to supervise polling and counting. The ruling AIADMK might use its money and muscle power and the EC should ensure free poll, they said.

The DMK delegation led by party senior leader T K S Elangovan, urged the Commissioners to keep in abeyance the Tamil Nadu Open Places Disfigurement Act, at least during election time, so that parties could take up wall writing as part of electioneering.

The DMK leaders alleged that the ruling AIADMK was distributing free bicycles and other relief to the people, violating model code of conduct. They wanted the EC to take stern action. They also wanted the Commission to deploy adequate companies of para-military forces.

The AIADMK, represented by its legal advisor N Jyothi, MP and party representative in Delhi, Maithreyan, appealed to the EC to relax restrictions on use of focus lights and loudspeakers.

It suggested the poll panel should announce alternative documents for identification of voters, for those who had not been covered under the EPIC programme so far.

The PMK delegation, represented by party President G K Mani and former Union Minister A K Moorthy, wanted women self-help groups to be kept away from election campaign.

The CPI(M) urged the EC to ensure that the ruling party did not misuse Government machinery in the election.

UNI WS/AKN AA SC RS2002

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