As Tamil Nadu votes in the 2016 Assembly Polls, the one subject that is on everybody’s lips is electoral corruption.
Early on the morning of May 16, Congress leader P Chidambaram criticised the AIADMK and the Election Commission for the prevalence of cash for votes this election. He said that it was no secret that a lot of money had been distributed by the ruling party, and slammed the Election Commission for not stopping this.
DMK supremo M Karunanidhi, on the other hand, was less critical of the Election Commission’s efforts. He said, “The EC’s action has been satisfactory. Money distribution has been stopped to a considerable level. But there have been instances of seizure of cash. Will the EC take action against them is the question on people’s minds.”
His heir-apparent MK Stalin also attacked the AIADMK for distribution of cash for votes, and added, “No amount of money can change the anti-AIADMK mood of the people.”
Former CEC N Gopalaswami said that the inspections by the Election Commission should be conducted for a longer period of time, since parties had expected raids and inspections closer to the elections, and started distributing money 15 days before the elections.
All attention was turned on the issue of cash for votes with the EC’s announcement on May 15 that polling had been postponed in the Thanjavur constituency to May 23 after it was found that “despite of all the possible efforts taken by the election observation machinery, more than Rs 6 crores were distributed by a single candidates (sic) in the constituency.” The report also added that, “lt is very painful to report that only about Rs 21 lakh were seized during the election campaigning despite of sincere efforts by the undersigned with the available resources.”
DMK Treasurer MK Stalin said on chances of win that except for Jaya's RK Nagar constituency, AIADMK will lose in all other seats. On polls postponed in two seats, he said that this is something EC should have done long ago. We demand CBI inquiry into cash distribution. Speaking on cash distribution in the state, he said ECI should take similar action in all constituencies, not just in these two constituencies.
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