Describing the Election Commission as an independent body, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Saturday denied having pressurised it to hold the by-election to the Madurai West Assembly Constituency on June 26 as scheduled.
Political leaders who respected the EC did so because they believed that it functioned fairly. "Saying that the EC was blackmailed or pressurised through the Central Government is sheer imagination," he told reporters here referring to reports that he had threatened to go on fast if the commission postponed the election.
Karunanidhi, who is in Madurai to campaign for the Congress candidate, also pointed out to the transfer of officials, including the District Collector, Police officials and even constables, as soon as the Election notification was issued, on the orders of the EC.
The government did not have a different view on that. However, the transfers did not mean that the officials were linked to any incidents. The transfers could have been made as part of the procedure also. "Any way the government did not want to shirk its responsibility," he said.
Referring to the charge about distribution of money to voters in the constituency, he said such charges were common in any election. "I do not know whether the money played or was just a spectator. Such complaints are common."
On intelligence report that violence could breakout during the election, he said in any election one or two minor incidents do happen. But, in Madurai West only the DMK leader's car had been burnt, he said.