Quiet flows money in RK Nagar

A total of D6.34 lakh unaccounted cash seized till Friday; political parties stage road blockades over money distribution to voters; tough time for cops, officials

Published: 17th December 2017 02:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th December 2017 08:09 AM   |  A+A-

Police removing protestors from Manali Salai of Korukkupet in RK Nagar on Saturday | D Sampathkumar

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: With just four days left for the by-election to the RK Nagar Assembly constituency, many areas here on Saturday reverberated with the word ‘money, money, money’.

The constituency witnessed road blockades and gheraoes by cadre of different parties complaining about money distribution to voters. The police, election observers and other officials had a tough time tackling the situation.  

On Saturday alone, over `13 lakh unaccounted money was seized. Till Friday, a total of `6.34 lakh unaccounted money has been seized by the officials.

Vikram Batra, Special Officer and Observer from the Election Commission of India, who arrived in Chennai from Delhi around noon on Saturday, drove to the Secretariat and held discussions with Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni, central observers and other senior officials.

Answering queries from reporters, Batra said, “Certain issues have been raised and we are looking into them. We will be taking care of all complaints we have been receiving from the political parties and the people. So far, we have seized `6.5 lakh. Today, we had more seizures that accounted for over `13 lakh. All of them have been investigated. In certain cases, further action is being taken by the police. Law and order situation is being tightened.”

Meanwhile, AIADMK candidate E Madhusudhanan lodged a complaint with Batra that DMK functionaries and T T V Dhinakaran supporters were distributing money to the voters in the guise of AIADMK cadre by wearing dhotis and holding aloft the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol to create an impression that the AIADMK was bribing the voters.

Earlier in the day, the AIADMK lodged a complaint with the Election Commission, demanding that Dhinakaran be disqualified from contesting the by-election for making arrangements to distribute pressure cookers (his symbol) worth `1.5 crore to the voters through a shop in Kalmandapam in Royapuram.

For its part, the DMK complained to Batra that the Election Commission had totally failed to curb the illegal distribution of cash. “In fact, our request to increase the strength of the CRPF to accompany the flying squad and to instal CCTV in all streets has not been accepted by the EC so far. Unless stringent steps are taken by the Commission, the very basis of free and fair election would be defeated at the hands of the ruling AIADMK, which is now distributing `6,000 to each voter in the constituency,” the DMK office-bearers said.

Meanwhile, Dhinakaran supporter P Vetrivel also lodged a complaint with Batra that the State police were not cooperating with the election officials in preventing money distribution by the ruling party functionaries. Hence, the EC should transfer all polling officials in the State government, depute police from other States and deploy Central government employees in the election work to ensure free and fair elections in RK Nagar.

House gheraoed

In Moopanar Nagar, a part of Korukkupet in the constituency, the DMK cadre gheraoed a house where they alleged that money meant for distribution to voters was kept. They charged that the police arrived on the spot after one hour and could get only pamphlets issued by the AIADMK. In Nethaji Nagar, two bundles of D2,000 currency notes and a list of persons to whom the money should be given were seized by the DMK functionaries. In some places, police arrested a few persons in connection with the distribution of money

In the 1962 elections to State Assembly, the late DMK leader Annadurai accused the then Congress government of bribing the voters and appealed to the voters not to sell their votes just for D5. In those days, the income of daily wage workers and downtrodden people was very less. So, by way of offering meals and D2 or D3 to compensate their income loss, it was done

A13 lakh
The cash seized from various places in RK Nagar Assembly constituency   on Saturday alone. The DMK, in a complaint, alleged that the ruling party was distributing D6,000 to each voter


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