IT raids in Tamil Nadu unlikely to affect poll outcome
Following the demise of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the election commission (EC) decided to hold bypolls to the RK Nagar constituency in April 2017. However, two days before the polls, the EC cancelled it following various reports that the TTV Dhinakaran-led AIADMK (Amma) indulged in large-scale bribing of voters. Reports suggested that close to Rs. 100 crore was spent by various parties to influence voters in the assembly constituency. When the bypolls were finally held on December 21, 2017, Dhinakaran won with a thumping majority, surpassing Jayalalithaa’s 2016 lead of 39,545 votes.
Fast forward to 2019, and income tax and EC raids across Tamil Nadu have seized more than Rs. 550 crore worth of unaccounted money, jewels and other items. To put that sum in perspective — the amount seized in Tamil Nadu is more than what the Centre has allocated for Khelo India (Rs. 520 crore), the national programme for development of sports.
If one were to compare the money seized during the RK Nagar bypolls with the current haul, it would not be wrong to extrapolate that Rs. 550 crore is a tip of the iceberg.