COIMBATORE: Tension gripped Sowripalayam here on the penultimate day of the Coimbatore Corporation Mayoral election, as members of the AIADMK and BJP exchanged blows following an verbal altercation over ‘outsiders’ staying in the constituency beyond the 5 pm deadline allowed for campaigning on Tuesday.
BJP Mayoral candidate R Nandakumar was allegedly attacked in the clash and vehicles of both parties’ functionaries were also damaged. AIADMK men alleged that the BJP cadre attacked their city office. Following the clash, police dispersed the groups.
Around 11 am on Wednesday, BJP Mayoral candidate R Nandakumar visited Sowripalayam bus stand area, alleging that AIADMK leaders and supporters, who are “outsiders” to the Coimbatore Corporation limit, were still staying in the constituency and carrying out electioneering work.
The verbal duel soon snowballed into a clash in which Nandakumar was allegedly attacked. Two cars, one belonging to AIADMK functionary K N Jayagopal and another belonging to BJP city vice-president S R Dhamu were damaged.
As the clash triggered tension for a few hours, shopkeepers in Sowripalayam downed shutters. A posse of police personnel was deployed at the spot to bring the situation under control.
City police commissioner A K Viswanathan and Deputy Commissioner Pravesh Kumar visited the spot and conducted an enquiry.
“As per the Election Commission rules, outsiders should not stay in the constituency after the campaign time that ended at 5 pm on Tuesday. But, AIADMK leaders and supporters are still staying in the city and participating in electioneering work. On hearing this, when I visited Sowripalayam, supporters of Bodinayakanur Municipality Chairman V R Palaniraj gheraoed my car and also assaulted me. They also threatened me,” Nandakumar told reporters.
In his complaint, AIADMK functionary K N Jayagopal from Sowripalayam said, while he was doing election work at the party office in Sowripalayam, around 25 BJP cadre attempted to attack the office, claiming that outsiders were staying there and doing election work.
BJP functionary S R Dhamu in his complaint said, “Singanallur MLA R Chinnasamy and his supporters attempted to attack me and my supporters apart from threatening us.
They also damaged my vehicle.”
Panel cancels election in two wards
Chennai: The State Election Commission (SEC) has cancelled elections to two wards of Chengalpattu Municipality in Kancheepuram district, Madras High Court was informed on Wednesday. Following representations from two candidates — GS Faziullah and K Thanigaivelu — whose nomination papers were rejected by the Returning Officer, allegedly without any valid reason, the SEC called for a report from the Kancheepuram district Election Observer. In his report, the Observer submitted that the RO had rejected the nomination papers as the candidates had not filled up the particulars regarding income tax and kept the requisite columns in their respective affidavits, blank.