Poll panel cancels byelection to R K Nagar

Poll panel cancels byelection to R K Nagar

The Election Commission on Sunday night cancelled the bypoll in the R K Nagar constituency in Tamil Nadu over the use of cash to bribe voters.

There were rumours that the byelection would be cancelled following cash seizure by IT authorities. Further, a document that reportedly contained details of how nearly Rs 89 crore was used to bribe voters has also emerged in the media.

According to the document, which was projected in the media soon after the raids were conducted at the residence of state Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, the AIADMK (Amma) faction — currently led by T T V Dinakaran — had given a sum of Rs 89.65 crore to several senior ministers for distribution among voters in the high-profile constituency.

Vijayabaskar is said to be close to jailed AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala’s nephew Dinakaran. State Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Lakhoni, deputy Election Commissioner Umesh Sinha and special Election Commissioner for R K Nagar bypoll Vikram Bathra rushed to Delhi for an emergency meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi.

Earlier in the day, poll panel sources told DH that authorities are expected to take a decision after scrutinising the reports submitted by the IT officials, who on Friday conducted searches at more than 30 places across the state, including the residence of Vijayabaskar’s assistant, and seized more than Rs 5 crore.

“Today, election officials are busy in monitoring the development of the byelection in Srinagar... Therefore, the meeting with regard to the R K Nagar byelection is expected to be held either on Sunday evening or Monday,” an EC official said.

The IT department on Sunday also issued summons to Vijayabaskar and actor-politician Sarath Kumar to appear before it on Monday to explain some documents that were seized from their houses.

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