However, the video of women receiving cash from the DMK MLA has been viral well before the notification of Lok Sabha polls.

Viral video of DMK MLA distributing cash in Kanimozhis presence Bribery case filed
news Elections Friday, March 29, 2019 - 14:35

A case of bribery has been filed against Tiruchendur DMK MLA Anitha R Radhakrishnan for allegedly distributing cash to women in front of DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi. According to a statement from the Election Commission, which took cognizance of the matter, the MLA was seen ‘distributing cash to ladies performing 'aarti' at a private event, in the presence of Ms. Kanimozhi.’ However, the video has been doing the rounds on social media well before the notification of polls.

A statement from the EC read, “Based on the viewing of a video clip showing a sitting DMK MLA, A Radhakrishnan of Tiruchendur Assembly Constituency, distributing cash to ladies performing 'aarti' at a private event, in the presence of Ms. Kanimozhi, the police have registered a case.”

The viral video shows the DMK MLA standing beside Kanimozhi even as women perform ‘aarti’ for the DMK’s Lok Sabha candidate from Thoothukudi. The DMK MLA proceeds to hand out cash to each of the six women seen in the video, even as they bless Kanimozhi and shower flowers on her entourage. However, it is not uncommon to place cash on the plates of women performing the ritual aarti.  

The police have registered a case against the DMK MLA and seven others under Indian Penal Code Sections 171H (Illegal payments in connection with an election), 171E(Punishment for bribery) and 143(Whoever is a member of an unlawful assembly, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both).

“Detailed enquiries are being conducted to come to a logical conclusion as per law,” said the EC statement.

In the run up to the Lok Sabha elections, the state EC has been cracking down on cash distribution in recent weeks. However, since this video in question has been circulating well before the notification of polls and the commencement of the Model Code of Conduct, it remains to be seen what action can be taken against the MLA.

In a grim reminder of the situation in the state, the EC statement also showed that Tamil Nadu continues to top the list of states with highest cash seizures with a whopping Rs 129,907 crore being seized by the EC sleuths on Thursday.

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