Jayalalithaa seeks change in polling date

Chennai: Political parties from Tamil Nadu continued to build pressure on the Election Commission for rescheduling the polling date with AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa writing to the EC seeking a change in the schedule because of exams and Tamil new year.

In her letter to Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi, Jayalalithaa said April 14 was traditionally celebrated as the Tamil new year by the people in the state and Puducherry.

"This day is of particular significance as the people celebrate the new year day as a family event in their native places. This would lead to large scale migration of people on or around the date of polling and would definitely result in a poor voter turnout," she wrote.

"This would open the doors for hooligans and bogus voters to subvert the democratic process," she alleged.

Further, exams for classes X and XII were also scheduled during this time, she said, adding, teachers may not be able to involve themselves in pre-poll exercises as they would be pre-occupied with conduct of examinations.

"The examination dates coincide with the peak of electioneering, which is bound to have a negative impact on the students` performance… In view of the above reasons, it is the request of the AIADMK to kindly reschedule the election so that polling is conducted during the end of April or early May," she said.

Tamil Nadu goes to polls on April 13 and almost all parties including DMK have expressed reservation against the present election schedule.