Debar candidate involved in bribing voters: Ex-MP

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Chennai, April 8 (IANS) The Election Commission should permanently ban parties or candidates from contesting elections charged with bribing voters, a former AIADMK MP said on Saturday.

K.C. Palaniswamy also said the poll panel should not postpone the April 12 by-election in Chennai on account of allegations of largescale bribing of voters.

“If one wants to bring in proper electoral reforms, then EC should permanently ban a candidate or even the political party from contesting elections if they are involved in electoral malpractices like bribing the voters,” said Palaniswamy, the spokesperson of the AIADMK faction led by former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam.

There is a possibility of the poll panel postponing the by-election in Radhakrishnan Nagar assembly constituency, with the Income Tax department saying around Rs 100 crore must have been distributed to voters by the AIADMK faction led by the now jailed V.K. Sasikala.

Former MP T.T.V. Dhinakaran is contesting as the candidate of the AIADMK- Sasikala faction.

On Friday, IT officials raided the residences and business premises of Tamil Nadu Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar, his relatives as well as persons close to him and his business associates.

“We have seized cash totalling Rs 5.5 crore. We have also seized documents showing Rs 89 crore changed hands in R.K. Nagar,” an IT official told IANS on condition of anonymity.

In the 2016 assembly elections, the Election Commission postponed the polls in Thanjavur and Aravakuruchi assembly seats citing largescale bribing of voters.

Asked about debarring a party or a candidate from contesting elections, T.S. Krishnamurthy, former Chief Election Commissioner, told IANS: “The EC has no such power. All that the EC can do is to postpone the election.”

According to Krishnamurthy, the poll body can postpone the elections any number of times.

–IANS

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