Chennai, Sept 19 (BPNS)
The Tamil Nadu State Election commission has directed the district collectors of the nine districts where rural local body elections are taking place on October 6 and October 9 to conduct strict monitoring to prevent bribing voters.
This was after a woman, Ponsheela, who was contesting for the post of Perampathu village panchayath president post was booked after throwing a feast to the voters in the constituency. She, along with her associates while filing her nomination papers was accompanied by more than 1000 people to the Block Development Office (BDO) at Kadayam.
People who accompanied her were brought in 40 vans, cars, and two-wheelers, and these people were provided with a stupendous lunch by Ponsheela and her relatives at a nearby community hall. Officials said that she had also provided liquor and money to some of these people who had accompanied her.
Following a tip-off from villagers, the district administration directed the local police to book her and her associated Jayakodi. Police Inspector Rangarajan said that Ponsheela and Jayakodi were booked under Sections IPC Section 174 E for bribing the voters on Saturday.
Superintendent of Tenkasi district police, R . Krishnaraj told IANS that only one case was booked under election-related violation in the district.
Following this, the state election commission directed all the district collectors and district Superintendents of Police to have a proper vigil on such poll-related violations and to book those indulged in violating the election decorum.
Nine districts of the state of Tamil Nadu that are going for rural local body elections are Kancheepuram, Chengalpattu, Vellore, Tirupattur, Ranipet, Villupuram, Kallakurichi, Tirunelveli, and Tenkasi.
With September 22 being the last date for filing of nomination papers and September 23 the last date for scrutiny, several ticket aspirants are thronging the party offices and are taking an entourage of people to show off their strengths to the district and state leaders of the respective political parties. This show of strength is conducted by spending good money on food, travel, and booze to those who accompany the prospective candidates.
Dr. Manomani. G, Professor of Political Science in a Private college at Chennai while speaking to BPNS said, “The Election commission has to crack the whip. Otherwise, the much-fancied rural local body elections will become a farce and money and liquor will dominate voting. That should not happen and election commission must properly monitor this and district administration including the district collector and the district Superintendent of police be given the responsibility to crackdown to see if money is being changing hands as well as liquor is being served. The democratic process must be conducted in a legal manner.”
The State election commissioner, Dr. Palanikumar has already communicated to the district administration of all the nine districts for strict monitoring of the election process in their respective districts.