Karunanidhi calls for peace as poll panel slams violence (Lead)

December 31st, 2008 - 6:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Dec 31 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Wednesday appealed for “peace” after the state’s Chief Electoral Officer Naresh Gupta sharply criticised the violence-marred run-up to the ensuing Tirumangalam assembly by-poll.”My government has no doubt that the ultimate winner in the (Tirumangalam) by-poll will be peaceful democracy,” Karunanidhi said in a signed statement.

“The Tamil Nadu government is willing to transfer any official as desired by the Election Commission on the basis of specific requests from the opposition…Our allies should not lift a limb or utter a word even in self-defence in the face of gravest of provocations from the enemies of democracy,” Karunanidhi added.

Karunanidhi, however, used the opportunity to take a dig at his bitter political opponent and AIADMK chief J. Jayalalitha.

“If a woman turns impure, the (river) Ganges can cleanse, but what does one do when river itself is defiled?” Karunanidhi added in the statement quoting the late Muthuramalinga Thevar to whose community the AIADMK candidate belongs and from where Jayalalitha draws her main political sustenance.

The AIADMK candidate during the January 9 polls is Muthuramalingam.

Naresh Gupta expressed his dismay Tuesday during an interaction with reporters in Madurai, 400 km south of here abutting the Tirumangalam constituency.

“It is a matter of distress. Lots of wrong things have happened in the last couple of days. It is very unfortunate. I am answerable to the Election Commission and would soon submit a report in this regard,” Gupta said.

The ruling DMK and its opponents in the fray have accused one another of triggering violence in which several vehicles, including those of the police, have been damaged.

Over 60 AIADMK cadres, including legislator A.R. Samy, have been remanded to judicial custody till Jan 13.

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