EC seizes Rs 15 crore in poll-bound Tamil Nadu

 The cash was impounded at various places, including Madurai, Erode, Thirukkovilur and Ramanathapuram during intense vehicle surveillance at check-posts  by flying squads appointed for each of the 234 Assembly constituencies in the state.

Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Praveen Kumar said at a press conference here on Saturday that in Madurai alone, about Rs 3.50 crore was seized after intercepting four cars. The occupants claimed that the money  was being taken for inter-bank transfers, but could not properly account for it, he said. Acting on another tip-off, Rs 11.5 crore was stumbled upon during a search at the residence of a woman Congress councillor in Tiruppur, the CEO said.

“Since her husband is a realtor, probe is on to ascertain whether the cash was meant for election purpose or part of the latter’s normal business activity,” he added.

Reiterating that the EC in conjunction with the Income-Tax department would  keep a close watch on cash flow in the state, Praveen kumar said about three lakh “beedies” were seized at Thirukkovliur in Villupuram district.

Both electoral fronts led by the DMK and AIADMK have been plodding to reach seat-sharing arrangements with just a week to go for the submission of nominations.


Seats yet to be identified
After a prolonged drama between the DMK and Congress to clinch a seat-sharing pact in New Delhi, the two parties on Saturday were struggling to identify 63 constituencies allotted to the national party.

Similarly, the AIADMK led by Jayalalitha is yet to finalise the number of seats to be allocated to the Left parties and MDMK in its front. In fact, ‘Amma’ released a long list of 307 other smaller parties and organisations who have pledged support to the AIADMK in the coming polls.  

According to sources, the Youth Congress under Rahul Gandhi’s advice is insistent on at least 10 Assembly seats from a wish list of 20, while the two dominant factions in the Pradesh Congress, owing allegiance to Home Minister P Chidambaram and Shipping Minister G K Vasan respectively, have  claims to certain seats. There are also some other seats the DMK wants.

 Even as an accord is expected to be reached soon between the DMK and Congress on constituency allocation and for other allies in that front, including the PMK, former Puducherry chief minister N Rangaswamy, who recently broke away from the Congress to float the All India N R Congress Party, met Jayalalitha here, as a precursor to a new alliance between the two in the Union territory.

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