To curb bribing of voters, EC defers election in Aravakurichi
In an unprecedented crackdown on bribing of voters in Tamil Nadu, the Election Commission of India has deferred the poll in Aravakurichi assembly constituency in Karur district to May 23, a week after the scheduled polling date. The EC said the deferment would ensure that the “vitiating effect of money power“ would lose its intensity and “a more congenial atmosphere conducive to the conduct of free and fair election is created.“ Counting will be on May 25 here.
Blaming both the AIADMK and the DMK for the rampant use of money power in Aravakurichi, the EC said the in come tax department conducted a search on April 22 at the residence of Anbunathan in Aravakurichi during which `4.77 crore cash was seized. Incriminating documents were seized “showing proximity to some prominent ministers of the TN government and belonging to the AIADMK.“ A number of currency-counting machines were also seized along with some unregistered ambulance vehicles, which the EC suspects were to be used for transporting cash.
On May 10, I-T officials conducted a search at the house of K C Palanisamy , DMK’s Aravakurichi candidate, and that of his son K C P Sivaraman in Chennai and Karur. The total cash seized amounted to `1.98 crore, of which `95 lakh was seized from the house of Palanisamy . Some 429 litres of liquor were seized and seven FIRs registered relating to corrupt practices in the constituency . “The irresistible conclusion is that all the above seized monies and gift items were meant for distribution to electors as illegal inducement to them,“ says the EC’s statement. The commission notes that bribing of voters is an electoral offence and punishable with jail term or fine, besides leading to the winning candidate losing his seat.
Meanwhile, in Aravakurichi, voters had seen cash raining. People were said to be running short of change due to a flood of currency notes of `1,000 denomination. DMK candidate K C Palanisamy , among the richest in the fray , had retained his seat in 2011 during the AIADMK sweep. AIADMK minister and Karur MLA Senthil Balaji was said to have been moved here to challenge Palanisamy .
dinathanthi newspaper 15/05/2016 : http://www.dinathanthiepaper.in/firstpage.aspx