Acting on the recommendations of the Election Commission, President Ram Nath Kovind has cancelled the Vellore Lok Sabha election after huge amounts of cash were recovered from a godown in the Parliamentary constituency, which allegedly belonged to a DMK leader in the district.

On the basis of a “damaging” report received from the Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer, the Election Commission recommended to the President to cancel the polling at Vellore parliamentary constituency where election was scheduled to be held on April 18. The commission had given a detailed account of the recoveries made during raids at various places, including a cement godown that belonged to a close associate of DMK leader Kathir Anand who is contesting elections from Vellore.

Kathir Anand is the son of DMK treasurer Durai Murugan.

“Accepting the recommendation of Election Commission of India dated 14th April 2019, the honourable President is pleased to rescind election to 8-Vellore Parliamentary Constituency Tamil Nadu to elect a member to Lok Sabha,” said a senior Election Commission officer.

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Last week, enforcement agencies had conducted raids at several places in Vellore area and seized huge cash and jewellery to the tune of Rs 12 crore from various places, including the premises belonging to the DMK leader.

An FIR was also filed against Kathir Anand after the cash seizure during the raids by income tax officials.

All Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu will go to polls during the second phase of polling on 18 April. As many as 23 candidates are contesting the Vellore Lok Sabha election.

With this decision, Vellore has become the first seat in the history of independent India where the Lok Sabha elections have been countermanded over abuse of money power.

In 2017, the Election Commission had postponed the RK Nagar Assembly by-election after complaints that voters had been bribed.

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