Polling in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore may be scrapped after cash haul

New Delhi: In wake of cash seizures from DMK leaders over the last two weeks, the Election Commission (EC) on Monday recommended to President Ram Nath Kovind that elections in the Vellore parliamentary constituency be cancelled. It cited the suspected use of money power to influence voters.

Vellore is scheduled to go to polls with the rest of Tamil Nadu on April 18. It is unclear whether the two Assembly seats, Ambur and Gudiyattam, under the Vellore LS seat, facing bypolls will also be countermanded or go as planned on Thursday.

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.

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.

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