Congress MP H. Vasanthakumar was detained on the charge of violating the Representation of the People Act, 1951, while passing through the Nanguneri Assembly constituency on polling day.
He was released a few hours later, after the police registered a case against him under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly) and 171 h (illegal payments in connection with an election) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 130 (canvassing for votes on the date of polling or persuading the voter to vote for a particular candidate) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
However, he claimed he was travelling to Kanniyakumari — his constituency — from Palayamkottai via Nanguneri.
‘Used alternative route’
“After the police asked me to take an alternative route instead of crossing Nanguneri, I chose to travel via Kalakkad, where I was detained by the police. Is there any rule in this country that a Member of Parliament should not cross the place where polling is going on? Despite all these gimmicks being staged with the help of the police, our candidate will register a resounding victory in Nanguneri,” Mr. Vasanthakumar told reporters.
The MP’s detention triggered tension in Nanguneri as Congress candidate ‘Ruby’ R. Manoharan and party cadre rushed to the police station. It escalated further when DMK MP S. Gnanathiraviam joined them, along with his supporters.
The Perumalpuram police registered a case against Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri, who visited Reddiyarpatti in the morning, under Sections 143, 171 h and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).