Chennai: Did the huge sum of money seized in Vellore on Monday belong to a political party or a candidate? As the issue may become clear following the receipt of a report from the I-T department, Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said he would then send a detailed report to the Election Commission of India (ECI) for appropriate action.
Averring that Monday’s raids, coming close on the heels of Income-Tax department’s seizure of `10.50 lakh from the premises of DMK treasurer Duraimurugan, he said today’s searches were initiated following information provided by the district election officer. The CEO said “This morning the I-T officials informed us that searches are going on. We will be able to tell you after receiving a detailed report. First it has to be verified if the cash seized (from the godown in Vellore) belonged to a political party or candidate and based on it stringent action would be taken.”
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Satyabrata Sahoo in reply to a question if the election in the Vellore Lok Sabha constituency will be postponed on account of large-scale distribution of money to voters, said the Election Commission was taking stock of the situation. “But the decision will be taken by the ECI based on the reports submitted by the I-T officials,” he said and added that the ECI has mandated holding free and fair polls in the State.
Today’s development comes close on the heels of Saturday raids on the premises of Duraimurugan, leading to the seizure of Rs 10.50 lakhs from his house. On Monday the I-T officials found cash said to be worth crores of rupees concealed in a cement godown belonging to an associate of a DMK leader in Vellore district. The cash was stashed in cartons and gunny bags and it was reportedly meant to be distributed to voters ward and division-wise.
It was said during the searches at the residence of Duraimurugan, printouts of details of some wards were seized and this could have possibly led to the raids today. The cash found at the godown is suspected to have been shifted during the intervening night of March 29 and 30 from a college, which was searched on March 30.
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