EC warns of countermanding TN polls if malpractices continue

In a stern warning against alleged money distribution to voters in poll-bound Tamil Nadu, the Election Commission on Monday said it was watching the situation "closely" and could even countermand the elections.

Chennai: In a stern warning against alleged
money distribution to voters in poll-bound Tamil Nadu, the
Election Commission on Monday said it was watching the situation
"closely" and could even countermand the elections in segments
where the "malpractices" continue.

"The EC is watching the situation closely. And if the
malpractices continue, it can countermand elections in those
constituencies even after polling," state chief electoral
officer Praveen Kumar told reporters here.

A sum of Rs 40.40 crore had been recovered from various
places across the state so far and a total of 61,020 cases of
model code violations filed, Kumar said as the campaign for
the April 13 polls came to an end this evening.

Opposition parties led by AIADMK have accused the DMK of
widespread distribution of cash to the voters and asked the
Election Commission to strengthen efforts to prevent money
power in the polls.

Since the announcement of the poll schedule, the EC has
been acting tough with flying squads checking vehicles,
including that of senior politicians and ambulances, to curb
flow of money to bribe voters.

The EC`s actions have drawn the ire of Chief Minister M
Karunanidhi who had said an "Emergency" like situation was
being created and had even asked the Centre to take a re-look
at the powers of the poll body while appointing new members.

Chief Election Commissioner SY Quaraishi had said last
week that conducting elections in Tamil Nadu was a "big
challenge".

To a question on the EC`s anticipation of the law and
order situation on polling date, Kumar quipped, "let’s hope for
the best and prepare for the worst."

On the EC`s notice to AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa and
DMDK founder Vijayakant for their alleged personal attacks
against the chief minister, Kumar said they had replied to the
Commission directly which was being examined.

PTI

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