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HC orders notice to Chidambaram on election petition

Source: PTI
September 30, 2009 20:12 IST
The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered issuance of notice to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on a petition from his All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam rival challenging his election from Sivaganga constituency in the May Lok Sabha elections.

The notice, returnable in four weeks, was ordered to be issued to Chidambaram and 19 others, including the Returning Officer of Sivaganga, by Justice K Venkatraman.

The AIADMK candidate R S Raja Kannappan, who narrowly lost to Chidambaram, had filed the petition seeking declaration of the election as void, alleging manipulation of votes and corrupt practices had been committed by Chidambaram, his election agents and others, with his consent.

Kannappan had also sought a recount of votes polled in the constituency, particularly in Alangudi assembly segment. He had polled 3,30,994 votes as against 3,34,348 by Chidambaram, thereby losing by 3,354 votes.

He claimed that but for the 'manipulations', he would have won the elections by a margin of about 7,000 votes.

"This is why it took a long time for the returning officer to declare the results and the declaration came only at 8.30 pm," he contended in the petition.

Kannappan claimed that votes secured by him in the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th rounds of counting in Alangudi had been "ingeniously added to Chidambaram's kitty and vice versa".

He accused the election official of 'unduly' favouring the minister and at his behest not publishing votes polled by the candidates in each round in Alangudi and some other segments.

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