EC cancels Chennai RK Nagar bypoll over use of money power

Chennai, April 10, 2017: The Election Commission of India on Monday decided to cancel the April 12 by-election to the R K Nagar Assembly constituency in Tamil Nadu over the use of money power to influence voters.

After several rounds of meetings with Tamil Nadu poll officials, the Election Commission decided to rescind the election notification.

It said the by-election would be held in due course when “the vitiating effect created by the distribution of money and gift items to allure the electors…gets removed with the passage of time and the atmosphere in the constituency becomes conducive to the holding of free and fair election.”

The EC in an order said: “The Commission is fully satisfied that the current electoral process…in Tamil Nadu has been seriously vitiated on account of unlawful activities of the candidates and political parties and their workers by bribing the electors and unlawfully inducing them by offering money and other gifts of consumable items to woo them in their favour.”

The decision of EC comes after the income tax department raided Tamil Nadu health minister Vijayabaskar and reportedly seized evidence of bribing voters.

The searches on premises of an associate of Vijayabaskar has revealed routing of Rs 89 crore for “distribution to voters” in R K Nagar Assembly constituency.

Vijayabaskar belongs to a faction of the AIADMK – called the AIADMK Amma – led by General Secretary VK Sasikala and Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran.

On May 27 last, the EC had recommended to the TN Governor to cancel the notification to hold polls to the Arvakurichi and Thanjavur Assembly constituencies after evidence showed a large sum of money had been used to influence voters there.

Wefornews Bureau

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