TN local body polls: DMK alleges irregularities in counting, approaches Madras HC

The Madras High Court has agreed to hear the DMK’s petition on counting irregularities on Friday.
TN local body polls: DMK alleges irregularities in counting, approaches Madras HC
TN local body polls: DMK alleges irregularities in counting, approaches Madras HC
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Even as the results of the rural local body polls are being counted across the state, the main opposition party in Tamil Nadu, the DMK, has alleged severe irregularities and approached the Madras High Court. DMK chief MK Stalin met with Tamil Nadu State Election Commissioner R Palaniswamy on Thursday and alleged that constituencies including those in Salem— the home district of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami— were operating per the instructions of AIADMK agents with the help of bureaucrats and the police. 

Speaking to reporters in Chennai, Stalin alleged, “On the basis of counting, DMK and its allies are progressing towards victory. Our alliance is winning in over 80% of the areas and is leading. Given these circumstances, the AIADMK is indulging in efforts to stop this with the help of officials and police officers. Particularly, in Edappadi constituency in Salem to which the Chief Minister belongs, votes that have been counted have not been announced. This is the news we are getting from our MPs and district functionaries there.”

He alleged that in Kolathur, Salem, the DMK candidate had won but it was yet to be announced. He alleged, “In the same area, some AIADMK members have won. They have announced that. The officers have left stating that they will announce results later.”

He also named Konganapuram, Edappadi, Sangagiri in Salem as areas where DMK's victories were not announced.

He further alleged, “The Chief Minister's brother-in-law, Venkatesh, is at the counting centre with a cell phone. We are receiving news that the polling officials are functioning based on his directions.”

Similarly, he claimed that Vathalakundu, Dindigul, the DMK candidate Parameshwari Murugan had won. “But they have refused to announce it, as is the case with Minjur. In Theni, which is the home district of Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, DMK is leading in Bodi. That too is yet to be announced,” he alleged.

Stalin alleged that DMK agents were beaten and sent out of the Oodhalur counting centre in Thoothukudi. He alleged, “Counting is taking place with only the AIADMK agents.”

Three polling boxes are missing in Vilathikulam, he alleged. Upon receiving these reports, Stalin, along with Lok Sabha MPs TR Baalu and Dayanidhi Maran approached the Election Commissioner.

After the meeting, Stalin said, “He (Commissioner Palaniswamy) called the concerned authorities in our presence. He has informed them. No response has been forthcoming on any of our earlier complaints,” threatening to stage a protest outside the TNSEC's office.

Voting took place in two phases on December 27 and 30. The first phase saw a turnout of 76.19%, and the second phase saw 77.73%. Over 2.31 lakh members contested the polls for 91,975 posts. The posts include: Gram Panchayat Ward member, Gram Panchayat President, Panchayat Union ward member and District Panchayat Union Ward member posts.

Meanwhile, following an urgent mentioning by the DMK, Madras High Court Justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemalatha have agreed to take up the case on Friday.

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