Vellore Current Affairs - 2020

Tamil Nadu govt announces trifucation of Vellore district

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Edappadi K Palaniswami announced that Vellore district of state would be trifurcated into Vellore, Ranipet and Tirupattur districts. Vellore will be headquarters of these 2 new districts. With creation of two more districts the total number of districts in state would become 37.

The Chief Minister also announced that starting from 2019, November 1 would be celebrated as Tamil Nadu Day to commemorate state’s creation day. Tamil Nadu was created on November 1, 1956.

Key Highlights

In any state the idea behind creating new districts is, generally, that it is expected to make governance easier or sometimes, decision is driven by local demands. In this case, people had been demanding carving out of new districts from Vellore district, which has 13 assembly segments.

Vellore District: It was created in 1989 by bifurcating North Arcot district into Vellore and Tiruvannamalai districts. It is one of the largest districts in state by area and has 13 Assembly constituencies. It is divided between 3 Lok Sabha constituencies- Vellore, Tiruvannamalai and Arakkonam.

Other District Division: In 2018 Tamil Nadu state government had carved out Kallakurichi district from Villupuram district. . In July 2019, TN govenment announced its decision to carve out Tenkasi district from Tirunelveli district and Chengalpet district from Kancheepuram district.

District in India

In India larger states have a higher number of districts such as Uttar Pradesh leads the count with 75 district, followed by Madhya Pradesh (52), while smallest state, Goa (2), has lowest number.

However, number of districts in a state is not always a function of area of state (or of its population). For example, Andhra Pradesh is 7th largest state by area in the country but has among smallest counts of districts at 13. As such, it has only 1 district for every 12,000 sq-km, which is largest average size for a district in any Indian state.

Madras High Court Upholds Decision to cancel Vellore Poll

Madras High Court has dismissed two writ petitions filed against the Presidential decision to rescind the Lok Sabha poll notification for the Vellore parliamentary constituency in the wake of complaints of large-scale distribution of cash to voters.

Why the Lok Sabha Polls in the Vellore Constituency was cancelled?

Lok Sabha election to the Vellore constituency was cancelled following the recovery of a huge amount of cash allegedly from a DMK candidate’s office.

The Election Commission had decided to cancel the polls after the district police had filed a complaint against the accused, Kathir Anand (DMK Candidate from Vellore) as well as two party functionaries on the basis of a report from the Income Tax department on April 10.

Observation made by the Madras High Court

Writ petitions were filed by AIADMK candidate A.C. Shanmugam and independent candidate K. Sugumar, who sought a direction to the Election Commission (EC) to conduct polls for the Vellore constituency along with 38 others in the State on 18th April.

The Supreme Court rejected the petitioners claim that the Constitution does not confer upon the President any power to countermand an election and, therefore, a gazette notification issued by the Union Ministry of Law and Justice notifying the decision of the President to rescind the poll notification should be declared ultra vires.

The High Court pointed out that it was the EC that had made the recommendation for countermanding the polls to the President by exercising powers conferred on it under Article 324 of the Constitution, Section 21 of the General Clauses Act of 1897 and other enabling powers aimed at ensuring the conduct of free and fair elections.

It was the President who had notified the polls on March 19 on the basis of a recommendation made by the EC and by exercising powers conferred on him under Section 14 of the Representation of the People Act of 1951. Hence President was right in rescinding the notification on the basis of EC’s subsequent recommendation.