The Election Commission (EC) said on Monday it was for the first time that it deferred polls in two Tamil Nadu constituencies following evidence of use of money power.
“Such a step is taken usually when there are reports of booth capturing or evidence of muscle power,” deputy election commissioner in-charge of Tamil Nadu Umesh Sinha told reporters.
Using powers vested in it under Article 324 of the Constitution, the Election Commission on Sunday decided to defer holding of assembly elections in the Thanjavur constituency in Tamil Nadu following evidence of large-scale distribution of money to the voters.
On Saturday night, it had taken a similar decision to postpone polls for the Aravakurichi constituency in the state.
As per the commission order, polling for the two assembly seats, which was scheduled to be held on Monday, will now take place on May 23. The counting will take place on May 25 instead of May 19.
Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry went for assembly polls in a single phase today. The counting will take place on May 19.
The EC said it has no power to “indefinitely” countermand an election. Therefore, it defers polls so that “the vitiating effect of the money power created by the distribution of money and gift items to the electors of the constituency loses its intensity and a more congenial atmosphere conducive to the conduct of free and fair election is created.”