Describing cancellation of bypoll to RK Nagar assembly constituency over use of money power as a “shame” to Tamil Nadu, former CEC N Gopalaswami today blamed people for accepting the cash for voting. Noting that elections were held peacefully in seven to eight States across the country over the recent past, he said “It is only in Tamil Nadu that elections were cancelled (over the use of money power to influence voters). The people of the state should be blamed for it as they accepted cash for votes,” he told a private TV channel here.
Earlier, elections to Aravakurichi and Thanjavur assembly constituencies were cancelled by the Election Commission citing use of money power to influence voters, he said. “Tamil Nadu witnessed several irregularities while conducting elections as cash was exchanged by some political parties for votes. This is a serious issue,” he said.
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Gopalaswami said this was for the third time that such an incident had taken place in the state. “It is a big shame for Tamils and for the state. That is my view,” he said. The Election Commission had in May last year cancelled the assembly polls to Aruvakuruchi and Thanjavur constituencies following evidence of use of money power.
The EC had then said it was for the first time in history that polls were deferred due to use of money power. Such a step is taken usually when there are reports of booth capturing or the evidence of use of muscle power, it had said.
The polls were later conducted in November and AIADMK won the elections in these constituencies. The RK Nagar assembly constituency bypolls was necessitated following the death of former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.