A team of officials from the Election Commission of India is in Chennai for a two-day review of the preparedness for the April 18 Lok Sabha election in the State.
Election Commissioners Sushil Chandra, Ashok Lavasa and Director General (Expenditure) Dilip Sharma, and Deputy Election Commissioner Dhirendhra Ojha and Sandeep Saxena headed an all-party meeting held in the city today.
Representatives from all registered parties took part in the meeting.
Speaking to mediapersons after the meeting Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said they have asked the ECI to ensure that cash is not distributed to the voters.
“The ECI must investigate about the Rs 32 crore which was seized in Vellore. If it is related to the DMK candidate then necessary action must be taken. We are ready to contest in the byelection for the four assembly constituencies that are left out. It is the ECI that should decide when the bypolls for these constituencies should be held,” he said.
DMK organisation secretary R S Bharathi submitted a Representation to Election Commission, in which he said, ” We make it clear that we are not against the lawful exercise of their statutory powers but the manner in which the searches are conducted in blatant violation of the Income Tax Act, Rules and Manual shows that the searches are colourable exercise of power and politically motivated. Interestingly huge cash is said to be found in Chief Minister’s Mr Edapadi Palanisamy associate places including Deputy Chief Minister Mr O Pannerselvam associates places and all sitting AIADMK ministers, AIADMK district secretaries AIADMK MLA’s associate places and IT is a silent spectator despite having received information in this regard. DG investigation wing of IT department is probably acting under the dictates of certain power centers who will be exposed with in a short period of time. It has come to our knowledge that AIADMK, BJP,DMDK , PMK and their allied party candidates are indulging in huge money distribution and IT department and Election Commission are silent spectators for the same.”
He added: “The search committed by the IT department for two consecutive times within 24 hours and unlawful detention of the candidate Mr Kathir Anand show that the IT department is reeling under the pressure of the ruling BJP-AIADMK alliance. Detaining Mr. Kathir Anand for three days would also make us to infer that the intention seems to be not only to prevent the candidate from campaigning but also to make available some documents to damage the election prospectus and conduct of elections in this constituency. There appears to be a deep rooted conspiracy in the illegal raids and managing documents out of raids for ulterior purposes. Therefore, the ECI also needs to call for an explanation from the Income Tax Department as to how they can detain the candidates illegally for such a long time prior to elections without any authority and in violation of IT Act and rules framed thereunder.”