Sasikala Raviraj, widow of assassinated MP Raviraj and a TNA candidate for Jaffna in the recent parliamentary elections, has called on Illankai Tamil Arasu Kacchi (ITAK) leader, Mavai Senathirajah and the Election Commissioner (EC) to investigate the recount of preferential votes in Jaffna, last night.
Mrs Raviraj and fellow TNA candidate M A Sumanthiran were caught up in an intra-party dispute during a recount of preferential votes in Jaffna, causing heavy controversy. Early reports suggested she was predicted to finish in second place and that she was expecting to win a seat. However, hours later she was informed that she had failed to win a seat and that it was given to M A Sumanthiran instead.
Mrs Raviraj said, “I am very surprised and uncertain about how this happened to me.”
She added that she was told by her constituency agents that she was on course for a second place finish and that “multiple persons and multiple media outlets confirmed this.”
Sumanthiran was escorted away by Special Task Force troops near the counting centre to shouts of ‘cheat’ and ‘traitor’ from the crowd.
Mrs Raviraj's daughter, Praviinaa Raviraj, took to Facebook last night to also question the recount, insisting that there had been some interference from personnel to influence the results.
“We are awaiting the official results but this is the politics that a certain politician is playing within the party. When candidates are not permitted inside the final counting booth it was witnessed MA Sumanthiran and his right hand Sajanthan were seated along with the elections officers at the final counting area,” she said.
Mrs Raviraj said that she was repeatedly stalled when she enquired about the status of the recount and when she was finally allowed into the counting area, she spotted a former parliamentarian and his assistant.
“When I went inside there was a former parliamentarian and one of his assistants were there with him. I asked them about that. He did not say anything about it… after asking him that I left,” she said.
This morning, assassinated former TNA MP Nadarajah Raviraj – the late husband of Mrs Raviraj – had his statue in Chavakachcheri covered in multiple cloths in solidarity for the incident.