Polling in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore Lok Sabha constituency has been cancelled, the Election Commission said today, after Rs. 11.5 crore in cash was allegedly seized from a warehouse belonging to a DMK candidate earlier this month.
The seat was suppose to go to polls on the 18th of April, however now just 38 Lok Sabha seats from Tamil Nadu would vote.
The Election Commission in a statement said,”Accepting the recommendation of the Election Commission dated 14th April 2019, President has rescinded the election to Vellore parliamentary constituency, Tamil Nadu.”
This is the first time that Lok Sabha polls to a constituency have been cancelled over alleged use of cash for bribing voters. So far, over INR₹ 500 crore have been seized from Tamil Nadu with INR₹ 205 crore in cash and the rest in gold.
The DMK has called it a “murder of democracy”.
After the cash was recovered the police had filed a complaint against the accused, DM Kathir Anand, as well as two party functionaries on the basis of a report from the Income Tax department on the 10th of April. Anand is the son of senior party leader Durai Murugan.
On the 30th of March, Income Tax officials had conducted searches at Durai Murugan’s residence over suspected use of unaccounted money for electioneering, and seized INR ₹10.50 lakh. Two days later, the Income Tax officials claimed to have seized INR₹ 11.53 crore from a cement godown belonging to a DMK leader’s associate in the same district.
The Election Commission was collecting evidence to as to how cash was bundled ward wise to bribe the voters.
DMK questioned the timing of the Income Tax department’s raids, alleging that the raids were a “conspiracy” by certain political leaders who could not face them in the electoral arena.
Source : Various