It is no secret that money is flowing freely in Tamil Nadu as parties vie with each other to bribe the voters ahead of polling day. The Election Commission has seized more than 100 crores from the state that has a well-oiled system of bribing voters.
But in what can be seen as a new low, the Election Commission has been forced to postpone polling in the Aravakurichi Assembly Constituency owing to large scale corruption.
The EC has announced that the poll in this particular constituency will be held on 23rd May, 2016 (Monday), instead of 16th May, 2016, and the counting of votes shall take place at 08.00 a.m. on 25th May, 2016 (Wednesday), instead of 19th May, 2016, as scheduled earlier.
The constituency is witnessing a high pitch battle between DMK strongman and former MP KC Palanisamy and former Minister V. Senthil Balaji of the AIADMK, a confidante of Jayalalithaa.
The EC has listed out various reasons why the decision to postpone voting was taken, here are a few:
From the very early stages of the notification of the election, the Commission started receiving complaints in large numbers with regard to the distribution of money and other gifts in the form of consumable items.
On 22nd April, 2016, an amount of Rs.4.77 crores was seized by the Income Tax authorities from the house of AIADMK member Ambunathan, believed to be close to some prominent Ministers of the Tamil Nadu Government. 200 saris and dhotis were also seized and there were notings to show that these saries and dhotis have been purchased for Rs.1.30 crore. Further, a number of currency counting machines were also seized along with some un-registered ambulance vehicles, which were suspected to be used for transporting the money.
On 10th May, 2016, total cash of Rs 1.98 crore, was seized from the residences of DMK candidate Palanisamy and his son. Out of the total amount, Rs.95 lakh was seized from the house of the candidate.
A man was distributing money in the constituency and fled leaving behind Rs 68,000 when the EC team chased him.
429 litres of liquor has been seized in the constituency and 33 complaints of money distribution have been registered.