DMK chief and Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin has been booked for holding a meeting without requisite permission in the poll-bound Vellore Lok Sabha constituency. A case was registered early on Friday, also naming the partyâ€™s candidate DM Kathir Anand.
On Thursday, Stalin and candidate Kathir Anand met leaders of the Muslim community at a private marriage hall in Ambur without intimating and getting the permission from the election officials. Officials said that this was in violation of the Model Code of Conduct in place for the polls.
A flying squad of the Election Commission arrived soon after Stalinâ€™s meeting to investigate the matter. The team sealed the premises of the wedding hall and complained to the local police station. In addition to the two leaders, the owners of the marriage hall as well as two DMK functionaries were booked. A case was registered by the police in Ambur in Vellore district. They were booked under Indian Penal Code Sections 346 (Wrongful confinement in secret), 171 F (Punishment for undue influence or personation at an elecÂtion) and 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).
Meanwhile, the DMK maintains that it was an indoor meeting and did not require permission. Speaking to TNM, party spokesperson A Saravanan said, â€śWhat happened is totally high handed. This was not an election rally. It was organised in the spur of the moment since the people who are going on a Hajj pilgrimage wanted to meet our leader. Since he was in the vicinity, he met them. There was no election campaign and it was an indoor event. We donâ€™t need to seek EC permission it. This is totally misconceived and unfortunate for an innocuous event.â€ť
The postponed Lok Sabha poll for the Vellore constituency is scheduled to be held on August 5 and the model code of conduct is in force there. The recovery of Rs 10 crore in cash from the properties of DMK functionaries in Vellore led to polls being cancelled in April this year. Recently too, the EC announced the seizure of over Rs 3 crore in poll-related raids in the Parliamentary constituency. Earlier last week, the DMK demanded the deployment of paramilitary forces across all booths in the constituency. The party had alleged that the ruling AIADMK is planning to 'incite communal hatred' and indulge in 'poll violations' on polling day.