Lok Sabha elections 2019: Polling in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore may be scrapped after cash haul
The Election Commission is likely to cancel the Lok Sabha poll in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore after about Rs 11 crore in cash was seized from a building linked to a Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) candidate, a person aware of the developments said on Monday.
Income Tax officials last week seized the cash from a godown that allegedly belonged to DMK leader Poonjolai Srinivasan, a close aide of party treasurer Durai Murugan. The officials are investigating the source of the money.
Based on a report from the chief electoral officer of Tamil Nadu, the election watchdog will on Tuesday take a call on whether the election in Vellore needs to be countermanded, the person quoted above said on condition of anonymity. The EC will take a call on whether the election atmosphere has been vitiated, the person added.
DMK chief MK Stalin said the IT raid was politically motivated. “It is meant to threaten us,” he said shortly after the cash was seized in Vellore.
If the election in Vellore is cancelled, this will not be the first instance of polls being countermanded on bribery charges in the state in the recent past. In 2016, the commission had cancelled polling in Thanjavur and Aravakurichi assembly constituencies after AIADMK and DMK were alleged to have been bribing voters.
The by-elections in the RK Nagar seat, held by former chief minister Jayalalithaa, was cancelled in 2017 after bribery charges.