Lok Sabha polls in Vellore cancelled after huge cash haul
Chennai, Apr 16: President Ram Nath Kovind has accepted the Election Commission's recommendation to cancel the election in Tamil Nadu's Vellore over excess use of money power.
With president's nod, Vellore becomes the first Lok Sabha seat to have had its elections countermanded over abuse of money power.
"Accepting the recommendation of the Election Commission dated 14th April 2019, President has rescinded the election to Vellore parliamentary constituency, Tamil Nadu," the Election Commission said in a statement.
The decision to cancel polling in Vellore came after a large sum of cash was allegedly seized from the DMK candidate's office a few days ago.
After the cash was seized, the district police had filed a complaint against the accused, DM Kathir Anand, as well as two party functionaries on the basis of a report from the Income Tax department on April 10.
Anand was charged under the Representation of the People Act for giving "wrong information" in his election affidavit filed along with his nomination papers, the police said. The other two, identified as Srinivasan and Damodaran, were booked under bribery charges.
According to Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo, the polling has been cancelled only for the Vellore Lok Sabha seat, as the by-elections to Ambur and Gudiyatham Assembly seats would be held as scheduled on April 18.
On March 30, Income Tax officials had conducted searches at the residence of Anand's father Durai Murugan over suspected use of unaccounted money for electioneering, and seized Rs. 10.50 lakh in alleged "excess" cash.
Two days later, they claimed to have seized Rs 11.53 crore from a cement godown belonging to a DMK leader's associate in the same district.
Vellore is scheduled to go to polls with the rest of Tamil Nadu on April 18.