DMK alleges interruptions in TN bypoll vote count, threatens to move court

Chennai: Alleging interruptions in the counting of votes for by-polls to Tamil Nadu’s 22 seats, the DMK on Thursday wrote to the Election Commission of India (ECI) threatening to approach the High Court if the poll body failed to intervene and ensure transparency in the process.

According to the DMK, in many of the counting centres for the bypolls, the authorities have abruptly stopped counting of votes as the ruling AIADMK candidates are trailing behind the DMK candidates.

In a letter written to the Chief Election Commissioner and the Chief Electoral Officer of Tamil Nadu, the DMK said: “We have strong reasons to believe that the Returning Officers have been instructed to bring results in favour of the ruling AIADMK party and therefore they are in the process of manipulating the counting procedure. If you fail to intervene forthwith, we would be constrained to move the Hon’ble High Court.”

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According to the DMK, it had information that reporters authorised by the ECI to be present inside counting centres for the Assembly bypolls, were being forcibly evicted in collusion with AIADMK members.

“This is probably being done in order to manipulate votes in favour of the ruling AIADMK candidates, who are struggling to get the numbers to sustain their government,” the DMK alleged.

“The AIADMK used this strategy during the 2016 Assembly elections too and achieved the required results. Unless authorised press persons are allowed to monitor the counting process, there are chances of the counting process being interrupted and manipulated using illegal means,” the party said.

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