Elections in Vellore cancelled; polling deferred in East Tripura

New Delhi: Accepting recommendation by the Election Commission of India (EC), President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday cancelled voting in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore Lok Sabha constituency, in the wake of seizures of large amounts of unaccounted cash from the state.

Also, polling in East Tripura constituency has been deferred from April 18 to April 23, according to a statement by Arvind Anand, Secretary, EC. This was done based on inputs received that the “law and order prevailing in the constituency is not conducive to the holding of free and fair poll,” EC said.
Vellore was scheduled to go to polls on April 18 along with 38 other Parliamentary constituencies in Tamil Nadu.

“Accepting the recommendation of Election Commission of India dated April 14 2019, the honourable President is pleased to rescind election to Vellore parliamentary constituency, Tamil Nadu to elect a member to Lok Sabha,” the EC in a statement today.

Last month, the Income-Tax department and Election Commission officials had raided DMK treasurer Durai Murugan’s residence in Vellore, and reportedly seized a large amount of unaccounted cash.

The president had received the Election Commission’s proposal, highlighting the use of unaccounted wealth to influence election results in the state, on Monday night and the decision seemed imminent as the EC’s request could not be ignored after the massive cash haul.

Raids were also conducted at Kingston Engineering College and Durai Murugan B.Ed College, which are owned by Kadhir Anand. As per the seat-sharing arrangement of Congress-DMK alliance, the Vellore seat went to DMK. Similarly, an alliance of BJP-AIADMK and other regional parties has conceded the seat to AIADMK. The DMK had fielded Kadhir Anand from Vellore Parliamentary constituency against AIADMK’s AC Shanmugam.

One Rajya Sabha election and 3 Assembly elections have been countermanded in the past.

In May 2016 the EC had postponed polls in the Aravakurichi and Thanjavur Assembly constituencies during the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly elections and countermanded the Dr. Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly Constituency in the bye-elections scheduled to be held on April 2017 in Tamil Nadu.