The police on Monday registered two cases against more than 50 Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) members, including Rajya Sabha MP T.M. Selvaganapathy, former Food Minister E.V. Velu, party district secretary (in-charge) S.R. Sivalingam, and former MLA G. Sekar for their alleged involvement in distributing cash to voters at Karipatti Palathottam in Yercaud Assembly Constituency where a by-election will be held on December 4.

Police said a total of Rs. 99,175 (Rs. 21,500 from one car and Rs. 77,675 from another) in cash was seized. They were allegedly distributing Rs.500 each to voters to get votes for their candidate V. Maran. According to police, a case was registered against Mr. Selvaganapathy and four others for allegedly distributing money to voters of Karipatti Palathottam around 9 am, based on a complaint lodged by R. Ilangovan, Salem district secretary of Jayalalithaa Peravai. Police also registered a case against Mr. Velu, former MLA Sekar Babu and 51 others for allegedly distributing money to voters at Chettiankudiyirupu around 7 am on Monday.

The case was registered on the basis of a complaint from Raja alias Rajasekaran, a former district secretary of Jayalalithaa Peravai. On Monday, the cases were registered under Sections 171 (e) (punishment for bribery) and 506 (i) (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The incident led to tension near the Kariapatti Police Station for a few hours as DMK cadres and representatives who came there after the seizure of the money and cars claimed that the cases registered against them were false.

S. Arumugam (55), president of Nedungundram panchayat was among the more than 50 persons who were booked in the Chettiankudiyirupu incident. “This is a false case as he is in Chennai. The police kept the cash in our car and seized it along with the vehicle”, Mr. Arumugham’s son A. Karunakaran alleged.

Mr. Selvaganapathy told The Hindu that the case was fabricated because the AIADMK feared a defeat in the by-election. “I was in Salem and not at the village which is 25 km away.”