Cash-for-vote, canvassing mar polls in Kanchi panchayat unions
Also, unauthorised persons were seen roaming near many polling booths, some wearing identity cards specifically issued to candidates.
CHENNAI: During the final phase of the rural local body polls on Saturday, TNIE witnessed several poll violations like canvassing near polling booths and money distribution, allegedly by party workers, outside booths in Sriperumbudur and Kundrathur panchayat unions.
Also, unauthorised persons were seen roaming near many polling booths, some wearing identity cards specifically issued to candidates. They were also seen canvassing voters standing in queue. But a police official said, “We are taking efforts as and when we get reports.” At polling stations in Thirumudivakkam and Padappai panchayats, food packets were distributed to voters by DMK and AIADMK cadres. Women were also seen asking the party workers for sarees, allegedly promised to them.
In Ayakolathur panchayat of Sriperumbudur union, huge flex banners publicising candidates (belonging to DMK, Congress, and VCK) were placed in public in violation of model code of conduct rules. When asked, a police officer said such banners crop up immediately and at different places even after removing them.
On the eve of the second phase of rural local body elections in Sriperumbudur and Kundrathur panchayat unions, Kolacheri panchayat witnessed chaotic scenes after information did the rounds that DMK cadre were distributing cash and gold nose rings to voters.
At least four AIADMK cadre told TNIE the issue was taken up with the local police “orally and in writing” on Friday night but no action was taken. Subsequently, the cadre carried out a demonstration at a junction around 11 pm on Friday.
Police swung into action and managed to disperse the crowd around 12 pm, police sources confirmed. An officer with Kundrathur police told TNIE that both the political parties were heaping allegations of bribing voters on each other. Denying allegations of inaction on the complaint, the officer said “no complaint has been filed by both parties.”The issue in Kolacheri came to a dead-end with the allegation of cash-for-votes left uninvestigated.
The rural local body polls in the nine districts concluded on Saturday, with countdown commencing for results on October 12. Though mostly peaceful, allegations of cash-for-vote and unauthorised canvassing were reported in Kancheepuram, with claims of cops being mute spectators as violations went on