Chennai, Aug 2: A petition was filed in the Madras High Court on Aug 1 by a DMK nominee, challenging the election of the AIADMK candidate in Radhapuram constituency by a wafer thin margin of 47 votes in the May Assembly polls.
DMK candidate M Appavu in his election petition alleged that the outcome of the polls in the Radhapuram seat was materially affected by improper rejection of postal ballot votes by the Returning Officer. Appavu sought declaration of the election of AIADMK's Inbadurai as null and void.
He wanted a direction to carry out a recount and a declaration that he was duly elected. He said the recount should cover all postal ballots which were allegedly illegally rejected by the Returning Officer, and votes recorded in EVMs in the 19th, 20th and 21st rounds.
The postal ballots polled in favour of him were rejected by RO, he claimed. Appavu said RO had announced "wanton inflated votes," than what was actually secured by Inbadurai in the 19th, 20th and 21st rounds of counting. He alleged that there were manipulations even in the counting of regular votes recorded in EVMs.
The votes were obtained by other candidates "clandestinely" included those in favour of the AIADMK candidate, he claimed. As per Rule 54-A of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, RO should count the postal ballot papers first.
However, RO counted the regular votes first and declared the AIADMK candidate as having won the election, the petitioner contended. Appavu is a Tirunelveli district-based DMK leader and has filed several PILs on farmers' issues. An AIADMK functionary, Inbadurai is an advocate practising in the Madras High Court. He had also served as special government pleader.