The elections to the Vellore Lok Sabha seat, which was rescinded in April, will take place on August 5. The Election Commission of India made the announcement on Thursday.
According to a press release issued by the ECI, Vellore will go to polls on August 5 and the votes will be counted on August 9. The filing of nominations for Vellore parliamentary constituency will end on July 18. The elections to Vellore Lok Sabha seat, which was supposed to happen in the second phase of 2019-General elections on April 18, was rescinded at the last moment.
Multiple reports-- from the Director General of Income Tax (Investigation), the Election Commission and other authorities-- on the search and seizure in a cement godown in Vellore ultimately had led to polls being cancelled. The move brought Tamil Nadu into national notoriety for the polls to the parliamentary constituency became the first in the country to be cancelled on account of cash-for-votes.
On April 14, the Election Commission of India wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind, requesting the rescission of the election notification to conduct the Vellore Lok Sabha polls. The Election Commission's final order stated, â€œThe elections have been vitiated on account of unlawful activities of certain candidates and some members/workers of the political party and in the Commission's considered opinion, allowing the current electoral process to proceed and conducting the poll in the said constituency on 18th April 2019, as scheduled, in such a vitiated atmosphere would severely jeopardize the conduct of free and fair election in said constituency."
Earlier in March, a search and seizure had taken place at the home of DMK Treasurer Duraimurugan. The senior DMK leaderâ€™s son Kathir Anand was announced as the partyâ€™s candidate for the Lok Sabha elections. According to a gazette notification that detailed the decision-making process, a report from the Nodal Officer of Election Expenditure Monitoring of the Income Tax Department revealed that Rs 19.57 lakh had been recovered from the residence, of which Rs 10.57 lakh was unaccounted for. Printouts with ward numbers and amounts written against them were also found, said the report. It recorded findings that set aside 'Rs. 500 per vote and at Rs. 200 per vote for distribution to 100%, 80% and 60% of the total number of voters.'
The Model Code of Conduct (MCC) will be in place in Vellore till the polls end.
Also Read: How the RBI helped confirm cash for votes in Lok Sabha polls to Vellore