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Collector accused of harassing poll official
A poll official in Madurai accused his senior poll officer of pressuring him to file a cases against Alagiri.
Madurai: An election official in Madurai district on Saturday accused his senior poll officer of harassing and pressuring him to file cases against Union Minister and DMK strongman M K Alagiri and his party workers.
The Revenue Divisional officer (RDO), Sugumaran, who is Election Officer of Madurai-East constituency, charged that Collector U Sahayam phoned him frequently and was harassing him though he was maintaining a neutral stand.
Sugumaran, who has been admitted to a private hospital, with complaints of high blood pressure, said he had also sent the copy of the complaint to the Election Commission, and had requested the EC to relieve him from election work.
Reacting to Sugumaran's complaint, the Collector denied he had asked the RDO to file any case. "Will anybody do like this? I have no time for election work itself. It is a lie."
He did not harass the RDO, the Collector said.
When reporters asked him if he was working against ruling DMK, the Collector appealed to them not to give political colour to his actions, adding he was acting only as per the directions of the EC's rules and regulations. He regretted that the RDO had complained to the EC directly and said it was not proper for an official at that level.
"When I don't have sufficient time for my work..How can I harass any person? There is no need for me to harass any person," the Collector said.
Madurai, where Alagiri, son of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, wields tremendous clout, is considered politically sensitive. Alagiri had criticised Sahayam recently for reportedly stating that it was natural for people to look for a change during elections.
Sahayam has denied having said so.
Meanwhile, Revenue Officials Association on Saturday threatened that they would not work beyond duty hours and not work on holidays if officials did not arrest those who roughed up a Tahsildhar at Keezhavalavu on Friday night.
Alagiri and over 50 partymen have been booked by the police in connection with the alleged assault of Tahsildar M Kalimuthu, who is Assistant Returning Officer for Melur Assembly segment, and a videographer.
The two were allegedly assaulted when they videographed Alagiri's visit to a temple in the area. The Association also described Sugumaran's charge as "bogus" and alleged he was biased towards the ruling party.