Election Commission is mulling countermanding the polls, and may announce its final decision on Monday.
Scheduled for April 12th, Assembly By-elections in Chennai’s prestigious RK Nagar constituency, may be cancelled, Times Now and NDTV reported on Sunday. As per the reports, Election Commission is mulling countermanding the polls, and may announce its final decision on Monday. Reports say that investigations by certain state authorities and Income Tax departments have found that huge amount of cash has been given to the voters. The investigation reports are currently under examination of Chief Election Commission and other officials. As per the report, a VK Sasikala-led faction of the ruling AIADMK paid Rs. 89 crore to voters to buy support for its candidate TTV Dinakaran, who is also her nephew.
The income tax department reportedly raided 35 places on Friday, and seized documents various documents. The places raided also included properties of the state health minister C Vijayabaskar. As per the report, a key document which recovered from the minister’s house contained the strategy details of the party in RK Nagar bypoll. The strategy document said that party will distribute an amount Rs 4,000 per voter across 256 segments of the constituency.
The target was to reach out 85 per cent of the 2.6 lakh voters. The entire sum to be paid amounted to RS 89 crore. The document further named seven senior leaders including Chief Minister E Palaniswami, Forest Minister Dindigul Sreenivasan and Finance Minister Jayakumar. The leaders were reportedly given targets. However, Sasikala faction has denied the allegations. This is not the first incident of cash-for-votes in Tamil Nadu. Last year, Election Commission had ordered cancellation of polls in Thanjavur and Aravakurichi constituencies after both AIADMK and DMK were found bribing voters. The RK Nagar by-poll is significant for both AIADMK (OPS) and AIADMK (Sasikala) as the seat was earlier represented by former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who represented it for two terms.