OPS though gave a tame reaction, while Stalin demanded a CBI probe.

They cannot stop us winning TTV Dhinakaran on EC cancelling RK Nagar bye-polls
news Politics Monday, April 10, 2017 - 13:28

Hours after the Election Commission cancelled the RK Nagar bye-elections, scheduled originally for April 12, reactions have poured in from political parties across the spectrum.

Read: It's official, RK Nagar polls cancelled: 'Proof' from I-T raids pushes EC to the brink

The EC’s move came two days after the I-T department carried out raids at state Health Minister C Vijayabaskar’s properties across Tamil Nadu.

The Commission had examined reports sent by the I-T department and by state Chief Electoral Officer. Documents seized after raids on Health Minister Vijayabaskar had indicated that crores of rupees had been set aside for distributing to voters in the constituency.

TTV Dhinakaran

AIADMK (Amma) candidate TTV Dhinakaran hit out at the EC’s decision, calling it a “conspiracy” against him. Speaking to Puthiya Thalaimurai’s Ramesh, Dhinakaran said, “I have been saying there is a conspiracy by the Election Commission for the last ten days, because they knew I was going to win. Stalin, OPS, and now the BJP, IT officials and even the EC have all come together to make a grand conspiracy.”

Pointing out that the bye-polls will have to be held soon, Dhinakaran confidently said, “Anyway, election has to be conducted in two months. What they have done is postponed our victory, they cannot stop us winning.”  

In interviews to other media organisations, Dhinakaran also denied allegations of money being distributed by his party. He said, “There is no proof that we have distributed money. Those videos are planted by others.”

The AIADMK (Amma) leader also said he will contest in RK Nagar whenever the polls take place. “How can they disqualify me without evidence? These documents are all fake. It's forged. Vijayabaskar met me yesterday. Nothing has been found at his residence. Let them have CBI, Interpol investigation. We have nothing to hide.”

MK Stalin

Calling for a CBI probe against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and other Ministers, whose names were found on a document seized during the IT raid, Leader of the Opposition and DMK’s working president MK Stalin took to Twitter to say, “Till the time this government continues, misuse of authority, cash distribution, and giving of gifts is not going to stop.”

He also noted that it has come as a “shock” to all those who believe in democracy that the EC could not prevent cash distribution. “Despite the EC having all the authority to conduct honest and free elections, it has cancelled the RK Nagar bye-polls,” stated Stalin.

With RK Nagar witnessing 61 surveillance teams – the highest for any bye-election, Stalin said the EC should also probe how bribing took place despite huge deployment of observers and flying squads.

O Panneerselvam

In the tamest reaction so far, former Chief Minister and AIADMK (Puratchi Thalaivi Amma) leader O Panneerselvam told reporters, “Today’s action clarifies that in TN that there is now going to be a situation where money will not be given to voters.”

P Chidambaram

With media reports pegging the price of one vote in the North Chennai constituency at Rs 4000, former Union Minister and Congress leader P Chidambaram took to Twitter to hit out at the Centre for its demonetisation policy last year. “We were told demonetisation has put an end to black money. Was money distributed in RK NAGAR white money?” he asked.

Venkaiah Naidu

Speaking to Times Now, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu hit back at Chidambaram’s statement noting, “He should be able to explain better. Most of the black money was generated under his regime, under his party’s regime. It’s ridiculous to make such arguments. Whether it’s white or black money, we can find out only after inquiries. Money is very much there. People have used money power and Narendra Modi government has launched a war against black money and corruption. It cannot be controlled with one action only. Demonetisation is one such step in right direction.”

Terming the Commission’s decision “appropriate”, Naidu said, “The EC did the right thing of countermanding the poll because we have seen the manner in which the money has been distributed. That’s why I feel the EC’s decision is right and in the interest of democracy.”

Reacting to TTV Dhinakaran’s allegations that the BJP was behind the I-T raid, the senior BJP leader said, “I-T department has done their duty. Let’s not attribute motives. It’s wrong to attribute political motives to this. What is the fact? Is it not a fact that the information has come out that some people were holding huge amounts of money and were distributing money? I’m not getting into which party. That’s not my domain. It’s an open fact that money was distributed, it was caught on tape, there were media reports and the official report has also found the same.”

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