Assembly Election

Tamil Nadu records brisk polling

PTI5_16_2016_00233A Women wait in a queue to cast their votes for Tamil Nadu Assembly polls in Chennai on Monday | PTI

Despite showers, voters in Tamil Nadu in 232 out of the total 234 constituencies turned up in large numbers on Monday, taking the polling percentage till 3 pm to 63.7.

Leaders of major political parties—AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa, DMK leader M. Karunanidhi, his son M.K. Stalin— and actors Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan have cast their votes early in the day.

Though the state witnessed a brisk voting, the brazen cash distribution and the huge seizures by the Election Commission of India in several parts of the state over the past one week has sent shock waves across Tamil Nadu.

“This is the first time huge amount of money has been seized by the ECI," says retired bureaucrat Christodoss Gandhi.

The postponement of elections in two constituencies—Aravakurichi and Thanjavur—has made history, for this is the first time elections in two constituencies have been postponed following allegations of money distribution.

Aravakurichi is the constituency where two heavy weights—AIADMK’s former minister Senthil Balaji and DMK heavy weight K.C. Palanisamy—are contesting. In Thanjavur too brazen cash distribution has led the ECI pushing the polls.

On Saturday, three trucks containing Rs 570 crore of money were caught by the ECI near Tirupur. Though SBI has claimed the money was transferred from its branch in coimbatore to Vishakaptanam, DMK’s M.K. Stalin and MDMK’s Vaiko have demanded a detailed probe as to why the money was transported without proper documents.

“The ECI should have acted well in advance instead of acting the last minute. There is money distribution by the AIADMK in every part of the state,” said Stalin, demanding a CBI enquiry into the alleged moeny distribution in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur.

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