DMK Treasurer Duraimurugan's son Kathir Anand was the party's candidate for the Lok Sabha polls.

Murder of democracy DMKs Duraimurugan on Vellore poll cancellationFile image/ PTI
news Elections Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 23:01

Shortly after the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced the cancellation of elections in the Vellore Lok Sabha constituency, DMK Treasurer Duraimurugan has reacted, calling the move a 'murder of democracy.' Over three weeks earlier, the DMK leader's home in Vellore was raided by the Income Tax Department over suspicions of cash distribution to voters in the district. A day later, over Rs 15 crore was seized from a cement godown, the money belonging to a local DMK functionary Poonjolai Srinivasan.

Speaking to Puthiya Thalaimurai, the DMK leader said, "This is a murder of democracy. This is a move to intimidate opposition parties." He added that the move is also an opportunity for the people to put an end to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government.

On Tuesday, the EC cancelled elections in Vellore parliamentary constituency shortly after 7 pm. Tamil Nadu's Chief Electoral Officer had submitted a report to the EC on April 14, following which the poll body was 'fully satisfied' that the polls in Vellore have been 'seriously vitated on account of unlawful activities of certain candidates and some members/ workers of the political party.'

An FIR was filed against Duraimurugan’s son Kathir Anand, who was also the DMK’s candidate for the Lok Sabha from the constituency. The FIR, dated April 8, also names of Poonjolai Srinivasan, a local DMK functionary, and a man called Damodaran who owns the cement godown from where the cash was seized. According to the report, Poonjolai Srinivasan had admitted that the seized cash belonged to him and that it was intended for distribution to voters.

In the wake of search and seizure, DMK President MK Stalin had alleged that the ulterior motive of the government was to postpone the Gudiyattam and Ambur bye-polls- the two assembly segments that fall under the Vellore Lok Sabha seat. It may also be noted that in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls, Tamil Nadu has witnessed the highest amount of cash seizures in India.

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