The Election Commission on Thursday announced that elections to the Vellore Parliamentary constituency in Tamil Nadu will be held on August 5. The elections were cancelled in April after allegations of money being used to influence voters. Vellore was the first Lok Sabha seat where elections were countermanded over abuse of money power.
The notification for the election will be issued on July 11 and the last date for filing nominations is July 18. Nominations will be scrutinised on July 19 and the last date for withdrawal of candidatures is July 22, the poll body said. Votes will be counted on August 9.
“The commission has decided to use EVMs and VVPATs in the election in all the polling stations,” the election body said in a press release. “Adequate numbers of EVMs and VVPATs have been made available and all steps have been taken to ensure that the polls are conducted smoothly with the help of these machines.”
The Model Code of Conduct will be in place in Vellore from Thursday till the elections end.
Vellore was scheduled go to vote on April 18, along with 38 other seats in Tamil Nadu in the second phase of the General Elections.
Raids earlier in the year
The poll panel had earlier said polls in Vellore were countermanded following searches and seizure operations carried out at the homes of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Treasurer Durai Murugan and his son on March 29 and March 30. The Election Commission had said that surveillance confirmed that a large amount of cash and incriminating material were moved from a college owned by Durai Murugan’s family.
Searches were also conducted at the Vellore house of Durai Murugan’s son, Kathir Anand, from where officials had seized around Rs 10.5 lakh unaccounted cash on March 29. Kathir Anand was the DMK’s candidate in Vellore. The Vellore district police had filed a complaint against Anand and two party functionaries on the basis of a report from the Income Tax department on April 10.
On April 1, a second Income Tax search was launched based on information that illegal cash was being moved from the college owned by Durai Murugan’s family to a cement warehouse in Vellore. A search was conducted at the residence of Damodaran, the brother-in-law of DMK functionary Srinivasan, and Rs 11.48 crore cash was seized. The cash was packed in plastic packets with ward-wise details.