On day one of the filing on nominations for the December 4 by-election to the Yercaud Assembly constituency, six nominees filed their papers.
Of these, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s V. Maran was the only candidate from a registered and recognised political party.
The opening day also saw the DMK upset over allegedly being denied the chance to file the first nomination, which went to a 54-year-old Independent candidate K. Padmarajan.
Mr. Maran filed four sets of nomination papers. He claimed that the total value of his assets and that of his family was Rs. 72 lakh. According to his declaration his movable assets worth Rs. 32.9 lakh included Rs. 17.76 cash in hand, Rs. 3,800 in his three bank accounts, two LPG tankers, a jeep and 80 grams of gold.
He claimed that his wife had Rs.4.82 lakh and daughter Rs. 48,000 in bank deposits. Mr. Maran submitted that the total value of his immovable assets, worth Rs. 40 lakh, were in the form of two agricultural lands and a house. M. Venkateshan (40) of the same party filed his nomination papers as the alternative candidate to Mr. Maran.
Others who filed their nominations were C. Venkatachalam (33) of Dravida Ambedkar Makkal Katchi (DAMK) and Independents P.N. Sriramachandran (33) and M. Iliyas (46).
Earlier, at the office of Returning Office T. Sabapathy there was tension when the DMK protested that though its nominee was on time, papers of an Independent were accepted before the scheduled start of the exercise.
The party’s Yercaud Election in-charge Pon. Muthuramalingam, District Secretary (in-charge) S.R. Sivalingam and Veerapandi A. Raja, who accompanied Mr. Maran, were involved in an argument with the RO over this issue.
“We reached the RO’s office at 10.45 a.m. and were waiting for a few minutes for the officially announced time (11 a.m.) to file the nomination. We were shocked to learn that our candidate was given the second receipt when he paid the deposit.”
Mr. Sivalingam said that they brought the issue to the notice of Chief Election Officer (CEO) Praveen Kumar over phone and also with Election Observer Pankaj Jindal.
The Returning Officer told newspersons that nominations were received on a first-come, first-served basis.
“The independent candidate came first and we have proof (video recording) of the time when he filed the nomination papers. There is no foul play in it,” he said.