New Delhi: The Election Commission of India has cancelled the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore constituency. The move came after a huge cash haul from a DMK candidate's office a few days ago. President Ram Nath Kovind rescended (cancelled or withdrew) the notification to hold the election to the seat based on the recommendation made by the poll panel Monday. Vellore parliamentary constituency was scheduled to go to polls on April 18.
The EC took the decision after the district police had filed a complaint against the accused, Kathir Anand, as well as two party functionaries on the basis of a report from the Income Tax department on April 10.
Anand was charged under the Representation of the People Act for giving "wrong information" in his election affidavit filed along with his nomination papers, the police said. The other two, identified as Srinivasan and Damodaran, were booked under bribery charges.
The recommendation was sent to the legislative department of the law ministry Tuesday which issued the notification.
The Tamil Nadu chief electoral officer has now been informed about the decision. He will, in turn, inform the political parties and candidates about the notification, sources in the government said.
As per the seat-sharing arrangement of Congress-DMK alliance, the Vellore seat had gone to DMK. Similarly, an alliance of BJP-AIADMK and other regional parties has conceded the seat to AIADMK.
The DMK has fielded Kadhir Anand from Vellore Parliamentary constituency against AIADMK's AC Shanmugam.
On March 30, Income Tax officials had conducted searches at the residence of Anand's father and DMK treasurer Durai Murugan over suspected use of unaccounted money for electioneering, and seized Rs. 10.50 lakh in alleged "excess" cash. Two days later, they claimed to have seized Rs 11.53 crore from a cement godown belonging to a DMK leader's associate in the same district.
Murugan, however, said that he had not concealed anything. Questioning the timing of the Income Tax department's operation, he had alleged that the raids were a "conspiracy" by certain political leaders who could not face them in the electoral arena.
Raids were also conducted at Kingston Engineering College and Durai Murugan BEd College, which are owned by Kadhir Anand.
(With agencies inputs)