Vellore: AIADMK, DMK renominate Shanmugam, Kathir Anand

The ruling AIADMK and main Opposition DMK on Saturday renominated their respective candidates for the elections to the Vellore Lok Sabha constituency on August 5.

The candidates were originally scheduled to contest in the polls that were cancelled by the election commission. While AIADMK said its ally, Puthiya Neethi Katchi chief A C Shanmugam would be fighting polls on its two leaves symbol, the DMK said D M Kathir Anand would be its candidate.

The Lok Sabha polls in Vellore constituency, originally scheduled to be held along with 38 other seats in Tamil Nadu on April 18, was cancelled by the Election Commission. The polls for the lone seat in Tamil Nadu was cancelled following a seizure of cash by income tax officials in Vellore district and allegations of bid to influence voters by bribing them.

In April, the police had filed an FIR against Kathir Anand, son of senior DMK leader Durai Murugan and two others in connection with the income tax raids and related cash seizure.

On March 30, tax officials had conducted searches on premises of Durai Murugan in Vellore district, over suspected use of unaccounted money for electioneering and seized Rs 10.50 lakh of alleged 'excess' cash.

Two days later, the I-T officials had said they seized Rs 11.53 crore from a cement godown belonging to a DMK leader's associate in the same district. During searches at Durai Murugan's residence, some printouts with ward numbers written over them were found, but the "main person", indicating the assessee, had dismissed them as "junk", I-T officials had said.

While a sum of Rs 19 lakh was found during the raid on premises belonging to Durai Murugan, Rs 10.50 lakh was seized as 'excess' after accounting for the cash declared in the election affidavit of Anand, they said.

Durai Murugan had then said, "We did not conceal anything," adding that all his family members were income tax assesses. The DMK leader had alleged the raids were a 'conspiracy' by some political leaders who could not face them in the electoral arena and also questioned the timing of the searches in the midst of a full-fledged election campaign.

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