The Lede
Despite Proof Of Voter Bribery By AIADMK, ECI Takes No Action

Despite Proof Of Voter Bribery By AIADMK, ECI Takes No Action

Sandhya Ravishankar

Sandhya Ravishankar

Videos have surfaced showing at least two key AIADMK local leaders indulging in cash distribution for votes, yet the ECI has taken no action

 On 10 April an FIR was registered against DMK candidate Kathir Anand, who is also the son of DMK treasurer Duraimurugan. Rs 10 lakh was seized from Kathir Anand’s residence in Katpadi in March and later Rs 11.53 crore was seized from a cement godown on April 01. Vellore election has been rescinded as a result on 16 April.

In Theni, high drama ensued as police fired four rounds in the air to rescue flying squad teams that had entered the office of TTV Dhinakaran’s party Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK).  Party workers had gheroed the officials inside the building. Bundles of cash were found in this raid, totalling Rs 1.48 crore and four workers of the AMMK were arrested.

On 14 April, flying squads and the IT Department conducted a search at AIADMK minister RB Udhayakumar’s MLA hostel room in Chennai.

On the night of 16 April, IT Department officials searched the office-cum-residence of Kanimozhi, women’s wing leader of the DMK and the daughter of late Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, in Thoothukudi. After two hours of searching, they returned empty handed.

In at least two instances, undated videos showing AIADMK representatives involving themselves in illegal cash distribution for votes, have surfaced.

In the first video KV Sampath Kumar former Vaniyambadi MLA and AIADMK leader is seen charting out a detailed plan for cash distribution along with local representatives of AIADMK allies.

In the following video, Kumar is seen explaining the cash distribution plan and delegating work to representatives of DMDK and PMK.

In another video that has surfaced, Savitha Arunkumar, former Municipal Chairman and AIADMK leader is seen distributing in the night.  In a video which has been shot in the brightness of a mobile flash light, Arunkumar is seen calling out names and handing out cash. She is seen emphasising to one of the voters who receives the cash that the vote has to be cast in favour of two-leaves.

The opposition parties are up in arms demanding action against the ruling AIADMK and its allies for alleged rampant cash distribution in an attempt to buy votes.

There has been complete silence on the part of authorities regarding the demands of opposition parties and the surfacing of videos implicating the ruling party.

Repeated attempts to reach Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo went in vain. The Lede will update this story with the response of the Election Commission in case it comes in.