The Election Commission of India on Monday issued notices to the DMK, the ruling party of Tamil Nadu, and opposition AIADMK for allegedly bribing electors of the Thirumangalam constituency, where by-election is scheduled for Jan 9.
The notice comes after TV channels showed Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's son and state minister MK Stalin and other leaders of the DMK distributing money among voters in the Thirumangalam constituency of Madurai district.
"An allegation has been brought to the notice of the commission that Jan 3, 2009, M.K. Stalin and other leaders of your party distributed money among the electors of the Thirumangalam town and other parts of the district soliciting votes in return," the commission said in the notice addressed to the general secretary of the DMK.
In a notice to the AIADMK general secretary, the commission said: "An allegation has been brought to the notice of the commission that Dec 31, 2008 at about 8.30 p.m., at Somasundaram Street, Thirumangalam, AIADMK partymen distributed money among electors and solicited votes in return."
"Some of the papers which slipped from the pocket of one of the persons involved in the act, allegedly belonging to your party, named Shri Amman K. Dhandapani, district joint secretary, MGR Mandram, Coimbatore district, indicates that he had deposited Rs.45 lakh (Rs.4.5 million) in bank in five different names Dec 11, 2008, including one in his own name," it said.
The commission also cited a complaint lodged in this behalf under the Thirumangalam town police station.
The commission urged both the DMK and AIADMK to file the reply in two days.
"The distribution of money and soliciting votes from the electors is not only violation of provisions of the model code of conduct but a corrupt practice within the meaning of Sec.123 of the R.P. Act, 1951," the commission said.