SC seeks EC reply on bribing of Tamil Nadu voters

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought the Election Commission (EC)’s response on a petition alleging largescale bribing of voters in all the Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu.

Petitioner K.K. Ramesh contended that with 39 seats, Tamil Nadu is the fifth-largest state in terms of numbers of MPs and alleging that every voter in these constituencies has been paid around Rs 5,000. He pleaded before the court that the poll panel be directed to postpone the parliamentary elections in the state.

As per the poll schedule, the state will vote on April 18 for the Lok Sabha seats and Assembly by-polls are scheduled to be held on April 18 and May 19.

The petition recommends some action points for the Election Commission, including that if election is postponed or cancelled over distribution of cash for vote or for deviating any election rules, the huge money spent for election by the government be recovered from the candidate/ head of political party.

The petition cited the seizure of Rs 11.5-crore cash from a cement godown in Vellore district by the IT Department on Monday. “So far, Rs 78.12 crore cash has been seized in the state,” the petition pointed out.

As per media reports, Tamil Nadu’s Chief Electoral Officer had gone on record to claim that Rs 135.41 crore has already been seized since the model code of conduct came in force.

Also, liquor worth over Rs 37 lakh, drugs and narcotic substances worth over Rs 37 lakh, 1,022 kg gold, 645 kg silver and other precious metals worth over Rs 294 crore have also been seized.



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