AIADMK’s allegations misconceived, exaggerated, EC submits in HC
CHENNAI: The Election Commission on Monday informed the Madras High Court that the allegations pertaining to the bypoll-bound Erode East Assembly constituency’s voters’ list and other issues raised by AIADMK leader CVe Shanmugam are misconceived and exaggerated.
EC’s standing counsel Nirmal Rajagopalan informed the first bench of Acting Chief Justice T Raja and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy that the Commission had taken all the measures to conduct a free and fair by-election in Erode East. According to the EC, the charges raised by the former minister were merely on baseless grounds and he need not be afraid that the election will be held with illegalities.
The EC rejected the submissions of Shanmugam that deceased voters’ names are in the current voters’ list released in January. “The Commission has the list of the deceased and the people who moved out from the constituency. The returning officer and booth-level officers will cross-check the voters who are visiting on the polling day to prevent bogus votes,” the Commission’s counsel argued.
He further stated that 34 booths have been identified as sensitive and security has been beefed up at those booths. “Nearly 409 CRPF personnel have been deployed in the constituency. Also, all 234 booths in the constituency have been brought under CCTV surveillance and webcasting has also been arranged. Already 12 flying squads are formed to prevent cash distribution,” the EC noted. It (EC) further assured that it has taken all the steps to conduct a free and fair by-election in Erode East. Recording the submissions of the EC, the bench disposed of the matter.
In his affidavit, Shanmugam said that 7,947 dead persons’ names are continuing on the voters’ list. “The names found on the voters’ list and not in the constituency were about 30,056. It is also noted that 1,009 names were entered multiple times in the voters’ list,” he alleged. It may be noted that V Easwaran of Marumalarchi Makkal Iyakkam of Erode has filed a petition for stalling the by-election. He wanted a probe headed by a retired HC judge regarding the irregularities in bypoll.
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