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CEO refutes DMK chief's charge of bias

Written by: Staff

Madurai, Apr 6 (UNI) Refuting DMK President M Karunanidhi's charge of being biased, Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Naresh Gupta today said he had no personal grudge against any political party.

Reacting to newspersons queries here after a review meeting, Mr Gupta said political parties, which do not have confidence could very well seek a replacement.

It was necessary for political parties to repose confidence in the Commission for peaceful conduct of the election process, the CEO observed.

The DMK leader's remark, reported in the media, however, was not specific but a generalised one, he noted.

Admitting that there could have been a few lapses in implementing the election code, the CEO termed them as very minor. None of the complaints received so far were serious, he clarified.

To a question about the DMK promising many sops, including colour TV sets and free agricultural land in its manifesto, he said this would not amount to violation of the code.

On campaigning through SMS, Mr Gupta said such mode of electioneering would not come within the ambit of a candidate's election expenditure. However, action could be initiated if a person, receiving more than 10 such messages, preferred a complaint, it was explained.

When his attention was drawn to the demand of visually impaired to provide facilities for exercising their franchise, he said braile ballot facility would be installed at places, including Chennai.

The EPIC coverage for first time voters, who had attained the age of 18, would commence from April 15, he told a questioner.

Along with Election Commission Secretary Mr Majumdar, the CEO reviewed the poll-preparedness with officials of the nine southern districts.


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