The bye-elections that were scheduled to be held on April 12, in Chennai's RK Nagar constituency have been cancelled by the Election Commission of India, according to national news channels.
Channels reported that the ECI's decision comes after a meeting in the wake of Income Tax raids on a minister and multiple reports of cash and other seizures from the constituency. However, no official confirmation has yet come from the ECI. Officials are slated to address a press meet in New Delhi on Monday even as the campaigning in the constituency comes to an end.
RK Nagar seat had fallen vacant after the demise of former TN Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, and the bye-elections had become a test of strength for two AIADMK factions and the DMK.
The Election Commission had examined reports sent by the Income Tax department and by state Chief Electoral Officer.
Documents seized after raids on Health Minister Vijayabaskar had indicated that crores of money had been set aside for distributing to voters in the constituency.
According to the documents seized by the I-T officials during their raids in Chennai on Friday and published by some media houses, the price of one vote in the by-poll bound RK Nagar constituency is Rs 4,000.
"The documents published by some media houses and doing the rounds in WhatsApp are what we had seized during our raids yesterday (Friday)," an I-T official confirmed to IANS on Saturday.
As per the documents leaked to the media, the Sasikala-led AIADMK faction had given over Rs 89.5 crore to seven ministers for distribution among R.K.Nagar voters and they were given a target to distribute cash to 85 per cent of the voters, numbering 2,24,145.