Rs 1.48 cr cash seized from AMMK premises in Theni

The Income Tax (I-T) Department early on Wednesday claimed to have seized cash amounting to Rs 1.48 crore from the premises of an AMMK functionary in Andipatti in Theni district.

The IT officials began their search late on Tuesday that ended at 5.30 a.m. on Wednesday, an official said.

He claimed that the unaccounted cash amounted to Rs 1.48 crore. “This cash was neatly packed in 94 packets/envelops on which the ward number, number of voters and the amount of Rs 300 per voter was written. All these wards are within Andipatti Assembly segment which is going to bypoll tomorrow (Thursday),” the IT official said.

The premises belongs to a functionary of AMMK party. In fact, the AMMK party office is functioning in the ground floor, he added.

According to the IT official, a person present at the premises in a sworn statement said Rs 2 crore in cash was brought in there for distribution to voters in Andipatti panchayat union area on April 16.

Initially a group of party workers overpowered the flying squad persons standing guard outside the premises, broke open the door and snatched some cash packets.

Police had to fire warning shots that prompted the miscreants to flee with a few cash packets, but they also dropping some of them.

All the remaining cash in 94 bundles (Rs 1.48 crore) was seized along with the envelopes, the IT official added.

A postal ballot paper for Andipatti Assembly by-election which was already marked for AMMK candidate was also found in the premises and was seized, the officer claimed.

The District Collector and Superindentent of Police reached the spot and supervised the security. The police has filed an FIR against a number of persons.

Meanwhile, IT officials and Election Commission’s static surveillance team on Tuesday night also searched the residence of Rajya Sabha member and DMK leader Kanimozhi in Thoothukudi on receipt of an information.

The search team left empty handed apologising to Kanimozhi as the information turned out to be wrong.



No talks of merger with AIADMK; AMMK leader Dhinakaran

AMMK leader T.T.V. Dhinakaran on Thursday categorically refuted Madurai Aadheenam (Mutt) head Arunagiri Nathar’s statement that talks being held for its merger with the ruling AIADMK.

In a tweet, Dhinakaran, who was sidelined and subsequently expelled from the AIADMK, termed Nathar’s statement about the merger talks as baseless.

“There is no truth in that. There is no need for that,” he said.

Nathar had told reporters that reconciliation between AIAMDK and Dhinakaran is going on.



SC asks EC to consider allotting common symbol to Dinakaran’s AMMK

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Election Commission (EC) to consider allotting a common symbol — pressure cooker — to the T.T.V. Dinakaran-led AMMK for contesting the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, and by-elections to 20 assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu.

A bench of Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice Ajay Rastogi in their judgment also asked the Delhi High Court to dispose off the appeal filed by the AMMK against the EC decision to allot the two leaves symbol to the AIADMK led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E. Palaniswami in four weeks.

If for some reason, the court said, the appeal against the EC order could not be disposed off by the High Court in four weeks, the EC should pass an order allotting a common symbol to Dinakaran’s AMMK.

The top court’s direction came on an appeal by Palaniswami challenging the March 2016 interim order of the Delhi High Court asking the EC to allot a common symbol to Dinakaran’s group.

While disposing off the appeal by Palaniswami, the top court virtually upheld the High Court’s interim order and asked the EC to decide the allotment of a common symbol as per the High Court’s order.

The AIADMK had split into two groups and both claimed the two leaves election symbol.

The Election Commission recognised Palaniswami’s group as the real AIADMK and gave it the two leaves symbol.