Will arrests cost DMK Prez votes?

With the election commission saying that only legislators arrested under the preventive detention Acts would be provided postal ballots to vote in the July 19 presidential elections, it remains to be seen how the DMK MPs and MLAs, participating in the fill-the-jail protest on July 4 and getting arrested, would vote for UPA candidate Pranab Mukherjee.

DMK chief M. Karunanidhi has made it clear that if arrested, his party cadres and leaders should not seek bail. The DMK protest is against the AIADMK government’s action in registering cases against its leaders.

In response to the election commission’s letter, written while it was gearing up for the presidential election, the state DGP recently sent a reply stating that former minister I.

Periyasamy had been arrested and the commission sought clarifications on whether he was arrested under the preventive detection Act. But by the time the reply reached the commission, he was out on bail.

Meanwhile, DMK supremo Karunanidhi, while addressing a public meeting, had insisted that his party members should not seek bail after getting arrested during the protest.

With all the legislators and MPs in the party joining Wednesday’s agitation, it remains to be seen whether the elected representatives would vote for UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee.

An EC official clarified to DC that “Only those detained under preventive detention Act like Cofeposa, Goonda’s Act, National Security Act, Essential Commodities Act, would be provided postal ballots.

Others detained under bailable cases are ineligible to cast postal votes. They can vote only after seeking bail.” He further said those arrested under CrPc and IPC sections could not vote without court’s permission if they are remanded in judicial custody.

In case they cannot come out for at least 14 days, it will affect their voting chances for presidential elections. Commenting on the EC clarification, a senior DMK leader told DC that they would seek interim bail to vote and go to prison again.

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