MK Stalin Alleges Cash-For-Votes In RK Nagar, Says AIADMK Paid 100 Crores

By-elections are being held in Chennai's RK Nagar constituency, which was represented in the state assembly by former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Rs 13 lakh in cash was seized from a physiotherapy centre in Chennai's RK Nagar constituency yesterday. Officials said it was the largest cash haul during this election.

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MK Stalin Alleges Cash-For-Votes In RK Nagar, Says AIADMK Paid 100 Crores

MK Stalin has written to the poll panel, asking action be taken against AIADMK candidate (File)

Chennai: 

Highlights

  1. Mr Stalin has urged action against the AIADMK candidate
  2. Rs 13 lakh in cash was seized from a physiotherapy centre yesterday
  3. RK Nagar was earlier represented by J Jayalalithaa
The opposition DMK in Tamil Nadu has alleged that Rs 100 crore were given to voters by the ruling AIADMK ahead of the by-elections in Chennai's RK Nagar, represented by former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in the state assembly. DMK leader Mr Stalin has accused the AIADMK of paying Rs 6,000 to each voter, and the operation, he insisted, had the support of the police.

Mr Stalin has written to the Election Commission, saying asking that action be taken against AIADMK candidate E Madhusudhanan. "Take appropriate and necessary action against AIADMK and the erring officials and to ensure free and fair election RK Nagar Assembly Constituency," his letter read.

Elections became necessary in the constituency after the death of Ms Jayalalithaa last December. Her party, the ruling AIADMK, is determined to keep control of the seat. But the election was dragged into controversy again after Rs 13 lakh in cash was seized from a physiotherapy centre yesterday. Officials said it was the largest cash haul during this election.

In April, the Election Commission cancelled the by-elections in RK Nagar after videos showing cash being paid to voters had emerged. Documents seized by the Income Tax officials soon after from the home of the state's health minister C Vijaybaskar suggested that Rs 89 crore has been paid to voters by Chief Minister E Palaniswami and his ministers.

The AIADMK, which had fielded its then number 2, VK Sasikala's nephew TTV Dhinakaran, had denied the charges. Mr Dhinakaran got arrested soon after for allegedly trying to bribe Election Commission officials to keep control over the two-leaf poll symbol of the party. O Panneerselvam, the long-time Jayalalithaa loyalist who turned rebel, had demanded that his faction be given the poll symbol, since they represented the "real AIADMK".

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But the two factions have patched up and Mr Pannerselvam is now Chief Minister Palaniswami's deputy. The seat is witnessing a triangular contest between the AIADMK, the DMK and Mr Dhinakaran, who was sidelined by the party since and is now contesting as an Independent. The DMK has fielded Marudhu Ganesh, a little known lawyer, from the seat.

The BJP, which is yet to win a seat in the state, is in the fray as well.

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