RK Nagar by-election: As campaigning comes to an end, allegations of bribing voters cast shadow over polls

As campaigning for by-election in Chennai's RK Nagar constituency came to an end on Tuesday, allegations are rife about voters being bribed. According to India Today, AIADMK leader Madhusudhanan wrote a letter to the Election Commission, alleging that pressure cookers were being distributed "under the instruction of TTV Dhinakaran". These cookers were the undisclosed stock of a shop that did not "transact any business" for three years, he alleged.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Men have also been caught giving out packets of biryani — along with Rs 2,000 notes — in RK Nagar, the India Today report said. People who attended Dhinakaran's rally were allegedly given Rs 300 every day for 10 days.

However, the report also said that it's not just the Dhinakaran camp that's using cash to lure voters; the EPS-OPS camp of the party has already finished distributing money, it said.

The report comes just two days after election officials seized Rs 13 lakh from a locality in RK Nagar on Saturday. Chaotic scenes were witnessed, as some men accused of trying to distribute cash to voters were chased by the police and DMK cadres.

The men accused of giving away cash denied it, while at least two others were seen running away in the bylanes of the congested constituency with the police giving chase. Angry DMK cadres too chased them and some persons were handed over to the police following allegations of cash distribution.

Canvassing was on in full swing in the Assembly segment where bypolls are to be held on 21 December, and party workers have swarmed the residential neighbourhoods. The political campaign ended at 5 pm and the Election Commission has made it clear that there will be no election related activities as per rules.

The campaign witnessed top leaders of various parties — Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his deputy O Panneerselvam of the AIADMK, DMK working president MK Stalin, and sidelined AIADMK leader TTV Dhinakaran — all reaching out to voters and campaigning intensively.

The outcome of the by-election could serve as a report card of the ruling AIADMK which faced turbulence after late chief minister J Jayalalithaa's death.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 19, 2017 19:04:45 IST

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