Srirangam by-elections: Will 'Thirumangalam formula' work here?

shivani

Shivani Chaturvedi | January 28, 2015



Prestigious Srirangam constituency of Tamil Nadu, earlier held by AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa, will go to by-election on February 13. Tamil Nadu is one of the States where it is a foregone conclusion that the ruling party will get the seat.

Chennai-based observers say, “AIADMK cannot be defeated at this stage. It is a prestige issue for the party and they won’t allow it to slip out of hand. It looks like ruling AIADMK is going to win Srirangam seat.” Insiders based in Srirangam say soon money distribution will take place in the constituency to woo voters. Cash, liquor and freebies flow like water. Resources deployed by the political parties, may it be ruling or the opposition, are very high. Observers say such is the condition that the entire state machinery is used to ensure that the ruling party makes through the election.

However, it is not a new trend in Tamil Nadu. The practice started during the Thirumangalam by-election in Madurai district in January 2009. In Tirumangalam, the DMK party workers resorted to ingenious ways to distribute the bribe money, swindling security officials and the workers of rival political parties. And from there came the word “Thirumangalam formula.”

Even the Election Commission always faces a serious challenge to handle the menace in Tamil Nadu by-polls. The Election Commission is just unable to impose model code of conduct.

This by-election has been necessitated by the disqualification of AIADMK leader J Jayalalithaa from holding the seat following her conviction in a disproportionate assets case.

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