Vellore poll cancelled over 'bribing voters' | 2019-04-17 | daily-sun.com

Vellore poll cancelled over 'bribing voters'

Sun Online Desk

17th April, 2019 05:25:32 printer

Vellore poll cancelled over 'bribing voters'

India's Election Commission has called off voting in Vellore in the southern state of Tamil Nadu after officials allegedly found cash and other evidence suggesting that one of the candidates was bribing voters.

Vellore was scheduled to go the polls along with the state's 38 other parliamentary seats on Thursday. It has around 1.4 million registered voters.

The candidate - Kathir Anand - is a member of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), a regional party and the main opposition in the state.

Mr Anand has already asked the commission to revoke the order, alleging that the entire operation was "stage-managed" by the governing party, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).

 

While analysts and observers widely believe that bribing voters - with cash, liquor or freebies - is common during Indian elections, polls have rarely been cancelled because evidence is often hard to come by.

In this case officials say they found 11 crore rupees ($1.5m; £1.2m) at the home of a man whose brother-in-law works for DMK. They also found documents detailing the break-up of voters across the constituency and how the money would be distributed.

 

The party worker has since confessed that the cash belonged to him and that it was "meant to influence voters in favour of" Anand, the Election Commission said in a statement.

They were able to trace the money to Anand based on an earlier search of his home and a college his family runs.

Research suggests that bribes don't actually win votes in India, but that doesn't seem to stop political parties from trying anyway.

 

But this is certainly a blow to DMK, which is contesting its first election since the death of Muthuvel Karunanidhi, a party veteran and one of India's most iconic politicians.

And the announcement came on Tuesday evening, around the same time news broke that the house of another DMK leader, Kanimozhi, was raided by income tax officials for unaccounted cash. They later said they had received a "false tip".

 

BBC


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