Election to Kadambur town panchayat wards cancelled

Action follows complaints of irregularities during filing of nominations

The State Election Commission has cancelled the election to all the wards of Kadambur grade I town panchayat “following complaints of irregularities” during filing of nominations.

During scrutiny of nominations on Saturday, it was found that those who seconded names of DMK candidates for wards 1, 2 and 11 were fake voters. Returning Officer Suresh Kumar, who rejected the nomination of DMK candidate for ward 1 Jayaraj on this ground, accepted the nominations of the party candidates Shanmugalakshmi (ward 2) and Chinnadurai (ward 11).

Agitated over this, the supporters of independent candidates Rajeshwari Nagaraja (ward 2) and Sivakumar (ward 11) staged a dharna in front of the town panchayat office even as Mr. Suresh Kumar left the spot at 3 p.m.

As the agitation intensified, the Assistant Returning Officer, after prolonged discussions with higher officials over phone, announced that the nominations of Shanmugalakshmi and Chinnadurai were also rejected. He also pasted on the notice board the final list of candidates – S.V.S.P. Nagaraja for ward 1, independent candidate Rajeswari for ward 2, Sivakumar for ward 11 and others in the fray after the scrutiny of nominations.

Since these three wards did not have any other candidate in the fray after scrutiny, Mr. Nagaraja, Ms. Rajeshwari and Mr. Sivakumar were about to be elected unopposed.

Against this backdrop, the State Election Commission cancelled the election to all the wards. In a statement, the SEC said the elections stood cancelled as the Returning Officer and the Assistant Returning Officer did not follow the “guidelines and the election code of conduct” during filing and scrutiny of nominations.

The Collector, who is also the District Election Officer, should initiate disciplinary proceedings against the Returning Officer and the Assistant Returning Officer. The new date of polling for Kadambur town panchayat would be announced later, the statement said.

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