Two days ahead of the poll, the Election Commission today cancelled Vellore Lok Sabha seat election, which was slated for April 18.. The decision, formally cleared by Rashtrapati Bhavan, was taken on the recommendations of the poll body days after a huge cash haul in the constituency.
Income Tax officials last week seized the cash from a godown that allegedly belonged to DMK leader Poonjolai Srinivasan, a close aide of party treasurer Durai Murugan. The officials are investigating the source of the money.
However, polling for the two Assembly seats under the Vellore LS seat – Ambur and Gudiyattam – facing bypolls, will go ahead as planned on Thursday as the order was specific to the Lok Sabha election.
This is not the first instance of polls being countermanded on bribery charges in Tamil Nadu in the recent past. In 2016, the commission had cancelled polling in Thanjavur and Aravakurichi assembly constituencies after AIADMK and DMK were alleged to have been bribing voters. The by-elections in the RK Nagar seat, held by former chief minister Jayalalithaa, was cancelled in 2017 after bribery charges.