O Panneerselvam son victory scripted, says Theni Congress candidate

Chennai: Former Union Minister EVKS Elangovan has attributed his defeat in Theni Lok Sabha constituency to “the tsunami of money” spent by the rival AIADMK candidate Raveendranath Kumar, son of Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam.

 When the visual evidence by way of video footage from TV news, showing a woman saying she was paid Rs 2,000 by the AIADMK for her vote, was shown to the Returning officer, he merely said he would look into it.  “What is the special love that PM Modi has for Panneerselvam that he does not have for Pon Radhakrishnan, Tamilisai and C P Radhakrishnan - all BJP candidates who lost,” EVKS asked at a press conference he convened at the Satyamurthi Bhavan, the state Congress headquarters here on Sunday.

“The Congress-DMK combine won 38 Lok Sabha seats and on its own the Congress secured 8 but unfortunately we could not win in one seat. Perhaps it was like a dhristi pariharam (remedy) that I couldn’t win from Theni. My defeat was scripted. The debacle was not because people did not vote for me but due to the tsunami of money and misuse of official power that had spoiled my prospects,” Elangovan who had polled 4,25,785 votes, said.

 P. Raveendranath Kumar who trounced him, won by securing 5,03,459 votes. He was the only candidate from the AIADMK who had managed to win while all other candidates and those of the allies lost by a huge margin.

 Pointing out that 100 EVMs were shifted to Theni from Coimbatore and Tiruvallur, Elangovan said the EC had not given a satisfactory reply on it yet. The commission, he said, should bestow special attention to Theni Lok Sabha constituency and undertake a through enquiry over Raveendranath’s victory. He said the AICC going into poll reverses will decide on these complaints of corruption and take a call on moving the courts.

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