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News18 Daybreak | IT-Sleuths Swoop Kanimozhi's House, Polls Scrapped in Vellore and Other Stories You Need to Watch Out For

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Updated:April 17, 2019, 10:34 AM IST
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What to Watch out for:

The Political Drama Ahead of Tamil Nadu Elections: I-T Officers Search Kanimozhi's House, DMK Cries Foul

After conducting several raids on residences of opposition leaders in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the Income Tax department has now trained its guns at Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK)’s Kanimozhi.

Just less than 48 hours before the constituency hits the polls, a team of I-T officials and a static surveillance team of the Election Commission on Tuesday evening conducted searches at the Rajya Sabha MP’s residence in Thoothukudi in south Tamil Nadu region.

As the sleuths didn’t find anything from the searches, Kanimozhi and other DMK leaders slammed the PM Modi-led Centre’s over what they called attempts to subdue the opposition parties.

A scathing criticism: Kanimozhi, the daughter of former chief minister and party chief M Karunanidhi, is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Thoothukudi against Tamil Nadu BJP chief Tamilisai Soundararajan.

According to her, the searches were illegal since they were allegedly conducted without a requisite warrant. I-T sources, however, said that the searches were a “normal verification procedure”.

Kanimozhi has accused the EC of unfairly targeting her since she was a member of the opposition party. “These incidents only strongly confirm that Modi is using EC to threaten us. We will not be cowed down by these incidents” she said and added, “Tamilisia has parked several crores of rupees in her residence. Is the EC ready to conduct searches there?”

DMK president MK Stalin also echoed what she said and slammed the poll body saying that it is “deliberately being used by (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi to target opposition party leaders”.

Meanwhile, several DMK party workers staged a protest outside Kanimozhi’s resident in solidarity and raised “Down With Modi” slogans.

Another showdown: Another scene unfolded in Theni district as police and cadres of TTV Dhinakaran-led AMMK engaged in a standoff. The Election Commission had earlier sent a flying squad after they were said to have received information of the hoarded cash on the premises of the party office.

The officials of the team were, however, stopped and held captive by the party workers as they attempted to search the office. The police then fired four rounds of shots in the air in an effort to free the workers.

At least four persons were detained and more than Rs 30 lakh in cash seized.

No polling in Vellore: President Ram Nath Kovind has accepted the Election Commission's recommendation to cancel the election in Tamil Nadu’s Vellore over excessive use of money power, days after a large sum of cash was seized from the warehouse of a DMK candidate.

The EC’s recommendation had been sent after cash seizures from the premises of DMK veteran leader and party treasurer Duraimurugan’s son Kathir Anand’s house in Vellore on March 29.

Polling for the two Assembly seats under the Vellore LS seat - Ambur and Gudiyattam - facing bypolls, will go ahead as planned on Thursday as the order was specific to the Lok Sabha election, officials told News18.

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FIR lodged against Navjot Singh Sidhu for violating Model Code of Conduct at Bihar rally

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News18 Election Lab: With Parties spewing millions, does campaigning affect voter preference in multi-phase elections?

Political campaigning is an integral, and perhaps, an indispensable part of Indian elections. As multi-phase elections become a norm of Indian polity, campaigning has come to play an even larger role in swaying the mood and electoral preference of voters. The preponderance of campaigning in politics, can be gauged by the fact that in the 2014 National Election Studies post-poll survey, it was found that almost two out of every ten voters made up their minds on who to vote for during and on the basis of party's political campaigns. Read the analysis about how campaigning affects the voters here.​

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