Vellore in TN to go for LS election on August 5
The Election Commission on Thursday announced that polling in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore Lok Sabha constituency would be held on August 5 and voter-verified paper audit trail devices (VVPAT) would be attached to electronic voting machines in all polling stations.
The Vellore elections were countermanded on April 16, two days ahead of polling in Tamil Nadu, after nearly Rs 11 crore of unaccounted cash marked for distribution to the electorate was seized amid complaints of large-scale bribing of voters.
Counting of votes will be held on August 9, the Election Commission release said. The last date for filing nominations is July 18.
After the Vellore polls were cancelled, voting was held in 38 of Tamil Nadu’s 39 Lok Sabha seats.
The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and its allies bagged 37 seats, and the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK)-led NDA alliance only one.
The DMK had then fielded Kathir Anand, son of former minister and party treasurer K Duraimurugan, in Vellore. The AIADMK candidate was education baron AC Shanmugham. A former minister in the cabinet of AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran, Shanmugham is founder of the New Justice Party, an outfit of the Mudaliyar community that is a part of the AIADMK-led NDA alliance.
“I will be contesting again on an AIADMK ticket,” Shanmugham told the media after the EC announcement. In all likelihood, the DMK will field Kathir Anand as there is no need to change the candidate, party officials aware of developments said.
In the 2014 election, the AIADMK had won Vellore. Shanmugham had then contested as an independent and emerged as runner-up, pushing the DMK to the third spot.