Slamming the Election Commission for its 'hasty' announcement of schedule for the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Wednesday said the state had not been consulted on the dates and wanted to know the rationale behind the poll panel's action.
A day after the EC announced the schedule, the DMK chief said everybody expected the polls to be held either in the last week of April or in the first week of May.
The EC could have given some more time to candidates and political parties and held the polls in April last week or May first week, he wrote in the party organ 'Murasoli'.
He said though polling would be held on April 13, counting would be taken up only on May 13 after a month-long gap, adding the new assembly had to be constituted on May 17 and the time would be too short for completion of the process. Karunanidhi said the complete results would be out only on May 14 and political parties would have just two days time for ministry formation as the Assembly had to be summoned by May 17 with the term of the present assembly ending on May 16.
Besides, political parties would have just 17 days for campaigning as per the present schedule, he said, adding, the EC had not consulted the state on the dates. Quoting the saying that Caesar's wife should be above suspicion, he questioned the 'haste' with which the EC had announced the schedule.
"EC is an independent body and there is no need for it to consult anybody," he said sarcastically. "If the new assembly has to meet on May 17, where is the need for the hurry to conduct the polls on April 13 itself," said Karunanidhi, whose party is yet to cement seat-sharing deal with the Congress.
He said when the Supreme Court was hearing a case on the elections to the proposed Tamil Nadu Legislative Council, which the government has sought to revive, counsel for the EC gave room to the judge to comment that polling could be held after the assembly elections. "Did the EC ask him to make such a comment," he asked. Karunanidhi also asked his partymen to start going to the people immediately and canvass for the DMK candidates.