The Election Commission’s move to cancel the RK Nagar bypoll following “evidence” of large-scale bribery in the constituency has not gone down well with some contenders, with AIADMK’s Sasikala faction candidate TTV Dinakaran terming it a “murder of democracy”.
“Cancelling the April 12 bypoll to RK Nagar is a major mistake. It is a murder of democracy,” Dinakaran said on Twitter late on Sunday night.
“This is a wrong decision. Even the Election Commission does not want me to win. They can delay but can’t deny,” Dinakaran, whose faction is alleged to have distributed Rs 89.5 crore to entice voters in late chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s seat, said.
The poll panel cancelled the bye-election, stating that the steps they had taken to curb malpractice had failed, and the voting had to be postponed after I-T raids at Tamil Nadu health minister Vijaya Bhaskar’s house procured evidence of large-scale bribery.
“The top leaderships of the parties cannot feign ignorance about such illegal activities indulged in by the candidates and the managers appointed by their parties to oversee the election campaign of their candidates.”
It asked the parties to exert moral influence in the matter, but did not give a new date for holding the election.
Though Vijaya Bhaskar was named as an aide to bribery, it remains unclear whether the EC will attempt to arrest or charge the minister, who enjoys his current position thanks to his loyalty to jailed AIADMK leader VK Sasikala.
DMK working president MK Stalin called for a CBI probe against the ministers and politicians whose premises were raided on Friday by the I-T department, and demanded their removal.