Radhapuram issue: Ballot units shifted
Returning Officer had declared 300 postal ballots invalid
The ballot and control units used in the Radhapuram Assembly constituency in the recently held Assembly election were shifted to a safer place on Wednesday as the runner-up, who lost the poll by a wafer-thin margin, has approached the court against the verdict.
When the postal ballots polled in the Radhapuram constituency were counted at Government College of Engineering on May 19, Returning Officer P. Muruganandam declared as invalid 300 postal ballots polled by the serving polling personnel had been attested by headmasters of middle schools who were not gazetted officers.
Later I.S. Inbadurai of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam won the close contest by just 49 votes over the nearest rival, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’sl M. Appavu.
Mr. Appavu said the Returning Officer should get clarification in this connection from the Chief Electoral Officer as postal ballots attested by heads of middle schools were accepted in Tirunelveli constituency.
When Mr. Appavu’s argument was rejected, he staged a protest inside the counting cubicle and was forcibly evicted by para military personnel.
He approached the Madras High Court with the prayer of declaring Mr. Inbadurai’s victory as null and void and the case has come up for hearing, Collector M. Karunakaran inspected Radhapuram constituency’s 368 ballot units kept in the godown of Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation at Sripuram. In his presence, the ballot and control units were shifted to the Agriculture Regulatory Market Godown at Ramaiyanpatti.