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19 May 2019, Edition - 1405, Sunday

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Coimbatore

Stalin demands CM’s resignation for impartial probe into bribing RK Nagar voters

Covai Post Network

Chennai: DMK led the opposition walk out for the third day in succession in assembly as DMK working president expressed his strong displeasure over the chief minister Edapaddi Palanisami’s response over the issue of investigations into misuse of money power in RK Nagar bye-election. In fact, it was the Election Commission that directed the chief minister to file FIR and investigate the charges of gross misuse of money power that led to cancellation of the poll.

Stalin and his party leaders alleged that the Election Commission had directed the filing of FIR against the chief minister, four ministers and AIADMK candidate TTV Dinakaran. However, chief minister Palanisami told the assembly that FIR was filed as per directions of the election commission.

The chief minister did not make any mention as to against whom the FIR was filed.

Stalin maintained that the chief minister ought to resign to make way for an impartial inquiry into the allegations as head of the government he had the police working under him. A probe as long as he was the chief minister would not be impartial and fair, Stalin alleged seeking his resignation. Yesterday, Stalin flayed the delay in filing FIR as per the directive of the Election commission.

PMK leader S.Ramadoss too demanded the resignation of Palaniswami and the ministers who under cloud, only then can the case be investigated properly.

The Election Commission had ordered the Returning Officer of the R.K.Nagar assembly constituency where by-election was scheduled to be held and later cancelled to file an FIR against Palaniswami, four other ministers and the party candidate Dinakaran on charge of attempting to bribe voters, Stalin said in a statement.

He said the poll panel had also sent a 34-page report by the Income Tax Department to the state Chief Electoral Officer and the Chief Secretary.

Stalin said the Election Commission’s order for lodging a police complaint was obtained from the poll panel by an applicant under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Stalin said the delay in registering a complaint was nothing but disrespect to the Election Commission, a constitutional body.

Ahead of the bye-election to the R.K. Nagar constituency, the Income Tax Department had raided the residences and business premises of Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar, his relatives as well as persons close to him and his business associates.

An Income Tax official had told media persons then that they had seized Rs 5.5 crore and documents showing that Rs 89 crore changed hands in R.K. Nagar.

Subsequently, the Election Commission cancelled the by-election for the seat that fell vacant after the death of then Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in December 2016.

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