Chennai, May 14 (IANS) Less than two days ahead of the May 16 election in Tamil Nadu, the Election Commission on Saturday ordered postponement of voting in the Aravakuruchi constituency in Karur district to May 23 as the poll process has been “vitiated”, said a senior official.
“The poll has been postponed to May 23 by the commission due to various raids, cash seizures,” chief electoral officer Rajesh Lakhoni told IANS.
The poll panel said it is satisfied that the current electoral process in Aravakurichi has been seriously vitiated on account of unlawful activities of the candidates and political parties and their workers in bribing the electors and unlawfully inducing them by offering money and other gifts of consumable items to woo them in their favour.
“In the Commission’s considered opinion, allowing the electoral process to proceed and conduct the poll in the constituency on 16th May, 2016, as scheduled, in such vitiated atmosphere would severely jeopardize the conduct of free and fair election in the said 134-Aravakurichi Assembly Constituency,” it said.
The commission said on April 22, the Income Tax department searched the residence of P.Anbunathan and seized Rs.4.77 crore alongwith some other incriminating documents revealing a number of notings showing proximity to some prominent ministers of the Tamil Nadu government, belonging to the AIADMK.
“In addition, 200 saris and dhotis were also seized and there were notings to show that these saris and dhotis have been purchased for Rs.1.30 crore. Further, a number of currency counting machines were also seized alongwith some un-registered ambulance vehicles, which were suspected to be used for transporting the money,” the order said.
The commission also said the Income Tax department search in the residence of DMK candidate K.C. Palanisamy, and his son K.C.P. Sivaraman in Chennai and Karur had resulted in cash seizures.
The total cash seized in the above search amounted to Rs.1.98 crore, out of which Rs.95 lakh was seized from the house of Palanisamy, the commission said.