The Election Commission (EC) in its response to a plea filed by All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) organising secretary C Ve Shanmugam, before the Madras High Court, asking it to direct the EC to ensure free and fair elections, has said that his petition was misconceived and exaggerated.
Shanmugam had said that of the 2,26,867 names on the voter list, 30,056 were of those not residing there. 7947 names were of people who had died and 1009 names had double entries.
The EC said that it had made a separate list of absentee, shifted and dead voters and that the list was confidential so that no political party misuses it. It added that the list was made after field verification.
It added that many other measures had been taken including the use of flying squads and static surveillance teams.
Regarding the polling process, it said that video recording would be done in all booths and officials would monitor them. Vehicles carrying the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) would be fitted with Global Positioning System (GPS) in order to track their movements.
Both the AIADMK and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have alleged that the EC has not been doing enough to combat the ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's (DMK) use of money and muscle power.
Shanmugam had alleged that the DMK was forcing voters to sit in pattis or shamianas set up by them in every booth in order to prevent them from interacting with the workers of the AIADMK and the BJP.
Earlier, in a letter written to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Annamalai had alleged that the DMK was bribing voters with 2 kilograms of meat and cash.
The most recent allegation against the DMK is that it had distributed pressure cookers to women. While opposition parties have complained to the EC, it is yet to take action.
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