Tamil Nadu

‘Prosecute CM, Ministers before holding R.K. Nagar byelection’

DMK’s candidate Maruthu Ganesh writes to Election Commission

N. Maruthu Ganesh, who was fielded as Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s candidate for the R.K. Nagar bypoll that was called off in April this year due to complaints of bribing of voters by rival parties, has urged the Election Commission to desist from conducting elections to the constituency until Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Health Minister C. Vijaya Baskar and a host of other Ministers were prosecuted.

Threatens legal action

In a strongly-worded representation, Mr. Ganesh said that he would be constrained to sue the Commission for damages and compensation — since he had spent about ₹5 lakh for the election campaign — if it does not take steps to include the names of Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Health Minister C. Vijaya Baskar and other Ministers in a First Information Report (FIR) registered by the Chennai city police regarding the bribery allegations.

He recalled that the EC had rescinded the bypoll notification on April 9, just three days before the election was to be held, on the basis of a 34-page report received by it from the Income Tax department on April 8 with respect to seizure of huge amount of money and incriminating documents pointing to alleged involvement of the CM and his cabinet colleagues in bribing the voters of the constituency.

Subsequently, the Abhiramapuram police here registered the FIR on April 27 on the basis a letter written by the Returning Officer to the Commissioner of Police on April 18. “Interestingly, it appears that the Returning Officer and the Chief Electoral Officer have burked the I-T department’s report while addressing the Commissioner of Police. They have wilfully and wantonly given a vague complaint which resulted in registration of a vague FIR,” he alleged.

Pointing out that the EC too had not taken steps to get the FIR altered despite Members of Parliament, representing the DMK, having handed over a letter written by their working president M.K. Stalin to the Chief Election Commissioner on June 22, Mr. Ganesh said: “The credibility earned by the Election Commission over the past six decades will be shattered if it does not take earnest efforts to book the offenders who bribed the voters.”

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 1:31:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/prosecute-cm-ministers-before-holding-rk-nagar-byelection/article19900290.ece

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