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RK Nagar bypoll: 3 Dinakaran supporters held for ‘distributing’ cash

The arrest has brought the focus back on misuse of money in the constituency, where the bypoll had to be countermanded in April following similar allegations.

india Updated: Dec 17, 2017 23:20 IST
KV Lakshmana
KV Lakshmana
Hindustan Times, Chennai
RK Nagar bypoll,AIADMK,DMK
Bypoll in RK Nagar assembly constituency will be held on December 21. (PTI Photo )

Three women supporters of rebel AIADMK candidate TTV Dinakaran were arrested on Sunday for allegedly trying to “distribute cash” among voters in the bypoll-bound R K Nagar, bringing the focus back on misuse of money in the constituency.

The bypoll was countermanded in April this year after Dinakaran, who was then the candidate of the ruling AIADMK, was accused of trying to bribe voters.

Incidentally, the allegation was then levelled by the breakaway faction of the party led by O Panneerselvam, who has now joined the ruling faction and is the deputy chief minister. Dinakaran is ousted from the party.

Besides Dinakaran, AIADMK’s E Madusudhanan, DMK’s N Maruthuganesh and some independents are in the fray for the bypoll to be held on December 21. The seat fell vacant after the demise of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa in December last year.

Both ruling AIADMK and opposition DMK alleged that Dinakaran was distributing money and gifts to the voters.

DMK working president MK Stalin said already Rs 100 crore was distributed among the voters. Madhusudhanan in a formal complaint to EC, sought a probe into purchase of pressure cookers worth Rs 1.50 crore in just five days, alleging that these cookers were for distribution by rebel AIADMK candidate Dinakaran, whose election symbol is a cooker.

Dinakaran supporters on the other hand alleged that the AIADMK gave Rs 6,000 to each of the constituency’s two lakh voters.

They also staged a demonstration demanding the release of the women, saying they were arrested on false charges

Police said they seized Rs 20 lakh from the trio. Dinakaran supporter and veteran MLA P Vetrivel said one of the arrested women, Selvi was just a petty shopkeeper who had Rs 10,000 with her.

Meanwhile a private channel aired a video clip wherein Vetrivel was seen taking out money from his bag and giving to one person. He was accompanying Dinakaran in the campaigning.

Amid charges and counter charges of money distribution, Vikram Batra, who has been appointed by the election commission as special chief electoral officer for the bypoll, held meetings with all political parties on the issue.

First Published: Dec 17, 2017 23:20 IST