The news of deferment of polling in the Thanjavur constituency came late in the day on Monday and many early bird voters were disappointed when they saw empty polling stations in the constituency on Monday.
“I am truly disappointed that polling has been postponed. I don’t know why. I have never missed a single poll in my life and I will come back when the officials say it was the day for voting. But there could have been some information left in the gate of the polling station on the postponement,'” said V. Saroja (80) of Thevan Nagar, who was brought to the polling station by her grandson. Many more like the elderly Saroja were disappointed across the constituency.
There was a steady drizzle in Thanjavur town since Sunday night, but before that it rained money in many parts of the Assembly constituency over the past couple of days forcing the Election Commission to postpone the polling to May 23 along with Aravakurichi constituency in Karur district. As more skeletons tumbled out of political cupboards in Thanjavur, the Election Commission sprang a surprise on political parties with its decision to defer polling.
The air was thick with talk that both the AIADMK and the DMK were distributing money to voters in specific areas of the constituency.
“There was selective distribution of money by parties. Some areas were totally overlooked and the worst case was many residents from such areas were eagerly wondering why their area was ignored,” an AIADMK cadre who campaigned for the party admitted. However, the two parties complemented each other’s efforts to complete the distribution seamlessly and without much of a fuss in many areas of Thanjavur.
When asked, a DMK insider claimed that the AIADMK completed distribution on May 11, well before the Election Commission tightened the monitoring on May 12. For the past three days, the officials monitoring the poll violations unearthed Rs. 20 lakh from two lodges owned by an AIADMK local leader two days back.
But the icing on the cake was the recovery on Sunday from the car of an AIADMK unit leader a handwritten document indicating distribution of Rs. 1.40 crore to households in 13 wards of the City Corporation. That forced the hands of the Election Commission to postpone polling in Thanjavur.