Wednesday, April 25, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Jaya out of poll fray
Nomination papers rejected

Chennai, April 24
In a severe blow to AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalitha’s political fortunes, her nomination papers in all the four constituencies, including Andipatti and Krishnagiri, in the coming assembly elections in Tamil Nadu were today rejected in view of her conviction in a corruption case.

Ending months of suspense ever since she was convicted for corrupt practices in the Tansi land deal case last year, the Returning Officers of Andipatti and Krishnagiri did not find her nomination papers in order as did the ROs in Bhuvanagiri and Pudukottai where her supporters had filed papers on her behalf yesterday.

The Krishnagiri decision sparked off an initial bout of violence outside the RO’s office but reports from elsewhere in the north-western district and other parts of the state spoke of no untoward incident.

While the Krishnagiri RO, Mr M. Mathivanan, did not give any reason for rejecting her papers, the Andipatti RO, Ms S. Jaya, said the main ground for rejecting Ms Jayalalitha’s nomination was that she has been convicted by a trial court for offences for more than two years’ imprisonment.

“This attracts Section 8 (3) of the Representation of the People Act and which, in effect, implies disqualification from contesting elections,” Ms Jaya said.

Besides, she said, the Election Commission had also in its order dated August 28, 1997 directed strict compliance by ROs of its guidelines under which convicted person is disqualified from contesting from the date of conviction irrespective of whether the person is released or is on bail.

Ms Jaya said Ms Jayalalitha’s papers were rejected also because she has filed nominations from more than two constituencies which violated election laws, a ground cited by the RO of Bhuvanagiri.

Mr A. Ponnuswamy, organising secretary of the AIADMK, announced to waiting partymen outside the office of the Returning Officer in Krishnagiri in north-west Tamil Nadu that Ms Jayalalitha’s nomination has been rejected by the officer, Mr M. Mathiavanan.

This immediately triggered violence by AIADMK supporters and police resorted to lathi charge.

In protest, the supporters resorted to a dharna.

Ms Jayalalitha pinned her hopes on contesting the elections on a Madras High Court last week that the stay of the sentence against her by the court last year rendered conviction also virtually stayed. PTI

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