The Election Commission on Sunday directed officials to file an FIR against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanswami, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Amma) leaders TTV Dinakaran, Vijayabhaskar and others in the RK Nagar bye-poll bribery case. The move was based on a response to a Right to Information application.
On April 9, the polling monitor had cancelled the RK Nagar bye-election in Tamil Nadu scheduled for April 12 following allegations of parties bribing the electorate for votes. The EC had said that it would conduct the elections “in due course when the vitiating effect created by the distribution of money and gift items...gets removed with the passage of time”.
The decision was made days after the Income Tax Department had conducted raids on Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijayabaskar’s properties in Chennai. The Central Board of Direct Taxes had submitted its report to the commission in Delhi, alleging that the VK Sasikala camp of the AIADMK had kept aside nearly Rs 90 crore to be distributed among voters to gain support for their candidate TTV Dinakaran, her nephew.
Dinakaran was arrested on April 26 for allegedly bribing EC officials to get the party’s two-leaves symbol for its faction. The police had begun its investigation after Dinakaran was accused of giving money to middleman Sukesh Chandrasekar, who was arrested on April 16. On June 5, almost 20 state ministers had said they had severed ties with Dinakaran and his associates after Delhi’s Tis Hazari Court granted him bail.