File FIR against CM, Ministers: EC

By NT Bureau Published on Jun 18, 2017 02:32 PM IST

Chennai: The Election Commission has ordered that FIR be filed against six persons including Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and few Ministers in the cash for votes allegations during the RK Nagar bypoll.

This was revealed in the reply to a RTI application filed by an advocate Vairakannan with the EC. He sought the poll panel as to why the bypoll was cancelled and what action was followed up.

Following the reply from EC, Vairakannan filed a petition in Madras High Court seeking orders to file FIR against the Chief Minister, State Ministers P Thangamani, K A Sengottaiyan, Vijaya Bhaskar and Sellur Raju and AIADMK (Amma) candidate TTV Dinakaran.

The case is expected to come up for hearing on Tuesday. On 10 April, a couple of days after the Income Tax department raided Health Minister Vijayabaskar, the EC decided to cancel the by-election to the R K Nagar constituency, scheduled on 12 April.

It attributed its decision to rampant voter bribing and corruption. The by-election to fill the vacancy in RK Nagar shall be held by the Commission in due course when the vitiating effect created by the distribution of money and gift items to lure the electors gets removed with the passage of time, and the atmosphere in the constituency becomes conducive to the holding of free and fair election, said a 29-page statement signed by Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi and his two associates and Election Commissioners A K Joti and O P Rawat.

The EC took the decision after consulting Tamilnadu Chief Electoral Offi cer Rajesh Lakhoni. In its elaborate order, the Commission said that considering its duty to conduct free and fair elections and to uphold the purity of election and after taking into account all the facts and circumstances,’ it is satisfied that R K Nagar poll process has been seriously vitiated.

This was on account of unlawful activities of the candidates and political parties and their workers who bribed the electors and unlawfully induced them by offering money and other gifts of consumable items to woo them in their favour.

In the Commission’s considered opinion, allowing the current electoral process to pro allowing the current electoral process to proceed and conducting the poll in the constituency on 12 April, as scheduled, in such vitiated atmosphere would severely jeopardise the conduct of free and fair election in the said constituency, said the statement.

Earlier too, in similar circumstances, the commission was constrained to rescind the 2016 Assembly elections to the Aravakurichi and Thanjavur assembly constituencies in Tamilnadu, the EC noted.