Erode (East) bypoll | Constituency completely under control of DMK: C.Ve. Shanmugam

The former AIADMK Minister alleged that the DMK had erected temporary sheds where all voters were confined, given food and cash; he said the Election Commission was “acting like the DMK’s election wing” and demanded action

Updated - February 15, 2023 02:17 pm IST

Published - February 15, 2023 02:10 pm IST - ERODE

Former AIADMK Minister C Ve Shanmugam. File

Former AIADMK Minister C Ve Shanmugam. File

Former AIADMK Minister and Rajya Sabha member C.Ve. Shanmugam on Wednesday alleged that Erode (East) Assembly constituency was fully under the control of the DMK ahead of the bypoll scheduled for February 27.

Addressing the media, Mr. Shanmugam said that the electoral roll carries the names of 40,000 ineligible voters. He demanded that these names be removed. “We have taken up the issue with the Election Commission of India (ECI) with proof. But no steps have been taken so far,” he claimed.

The AIADMK leader also alleged that the Election Commission was acting like the DMK’s election wing and criticised it for being a spectator. “Two observers were appointed for the byelection, but we do not know where they are,” he said and added that government officials, the police department and the election officials were all under the control of the DMK.

Mr. Shanmugam said that all political parties have the right to meet voters and seek votes. “But our democratic right is curtailed here,” he said and added, “Only the DMK can meet voters and seek votes.” He claimed that the DMK had erected temporary sheds at all the booth areas and voters were confined to these sheds throughout the day, with food served and cash given to them. “We are prevented from meeting the voters,” he said. He demanded that the Chief Electoral Officer and the District Election Officer intervene and get the people released.

Vehicles of AIADMK leaders and functionaries were being intercepted under the guise of ‘vehicle checks’, Mr. Shanmugam said and termed this police action unfair. “Our interim general secretary Edappadi K. Palaniswami is scheduled to begin his election campaign on Wednesday evening [February 15]. Hence, to stop the crowds from gathering, they are doing this,” he said and added that if no action was taken, the party might be forced to stage a protest condemning the Election Commission.

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