TN parties demand deferring of counting of votes

Chennai: Some parties in Tamil Nadu including DMK have demanded postponement of counting of votes on October 17 to a later date of the Tiruchirappally (West) Assembly bypoll scheduled for October 13, a top official the state Election Commission said on Wednesday.

"We have written to the Election Commission saying parties have demanded for postponing of counting of votes on October 17 as it coincides with the first phase of the civic polls," Chief Electoral Officer of the state, Praveen Kumar said.

Kumar said the EC would take the final call on it.

DMK and PMK among others have been demanding deferring of counting, scheduled for October 17, which coincides with the first phase of the civic polls, saying trends of the counting could have a bearing on the voting pattern for local bodies.

The parties have insisted that counting of Tiruchirappally (West) by-poll votes should not be taken up before October 19, the final phase of the two-phase civic polls.

By-poll to this constituency was necessitated following the death of AIADMK Minister Mariam Pichai in a road accident.

AIADMK's M Paranjothi and DMK's jailed former minister K N Nehru among 15 others are in the fray for the by-poll.

Meanwhile, State Election Commission today wrote to Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi saying that the demand of political parties had come up during an all party meeting convened by it yesterday. It also recommended that the counting may be done after October 19.