April 2, 2019
Chennai : Suspense hangs over Vellore Lok Sabha seat if it would go to polls along with the rest on April 18 after huge cache of cash was detected and seized by the IT officials from a cement godown belonging to senior DMK leader and party treasurer Duraimurugan.
Large amount of cash, packed in cartons and gunny bags, were found at a cement godown. Running into several crores of rupees, the discovery of this unaccounted for, so far, cash puts a question mark on polling along with the other 38 seats in the state.
Duraimurugan’s son D.M. Kathir Anand, is the DMK candidate for Vellore Lok Sabha constituency.
In a similar case of detection of huge amounts of money, the Election Commission had postponed the RK Nagar bye-election that also witnessed complaints of large scale bribing of the voters. The money discovered in Vellore is also suspected to be placed there for distribution among voters.
In the 2016 assembly elections, the Election Commission had postponed the polls in Thanjavur and Aravakuruchi assembly seats citing large-scale bribing of voters.
When asked about Vellore cash case, Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Satyabrata Sahoo said after completion of the search operations the IT department will give a report.
He said whether the cash seized is connected to the election will have to be seen. After the reports from IT department and others the Election Commission will take a decision on the issue, he said.
There are 23 candidates in the fray in Vellore constituency.
According to IT sources, the cash was shifted from Kingston College belonging to Duraimurugan Educational Trust, Vellore to a cement godown in the night between 29th and 30 March 2019.