The Election Commission on Friday suspended four officials after a video surfaced on social media purportedly showing an EVM being found in a BJP candidate’s car in Patharkandi constituency following the second round of polling in Assam.
“The Presiding Officer was issued a show-cause notice for violation of the transport protocol. Thereafter, the PO and three other officials have been placed under suspension.” EC said in an official statement.
“On examination, the polled EVM comprising of BU, CU, and VVPAT was found to be with its seal intact without any damage whatsoever. All the items have been deposited in the strong room,” it said further.
It said that although the seals of the EVM were found intact, the commission has decided to do a re-poll at number 149 – Indira MV School of LAC 1 Ratabari (SC) as an added precaution.
The commission has also sought a report from the Special Observer on the incident.
In the factual report on the incident, EC informed that the polling party comprising of PO and three polling personnel of No. 149 – Indira M.V. School of LAC 1 Ratabari(SC) met with an ‘unfortunate incident’ on Thursday.
The commission said that the vehicle which was allotted by the transport cell of the election branch, to the party carrying the polling party broke down, and “due to the traffic congestion and the poor weather condition, the party became detached from its convoy”.
“The party alighted from the vehicle and called the Sector Officer Ajoy Sutradhar on his mobile and informed him. While the sector officer was arranging for an alternate vehicle, the polling party decided to arrange a vehicle of its own so as to reach the Material Receipt Centre faster since they were in the custody of polled EVMs,” an EC release stated.
“At about 9.20 pm, the polling party hailed a passing vehicle and boarded it along with their EVM and other things without checking the ownership of the vehicle. As reported by the polling party, they moved towards Karimganj and as they reached Kanaishil in Karimganj at about 10.00 pm, they had to slow down in the traffic. As they slowed down, they were surrounded by a mob of about 50 people which started pelting stones at them.”
The EC report said that as the vehicle-carrying polling party slowed down, it was surrounded by a mob of about 50 people who started pelting stones at them.
“The mob also started abusing them and did not allow the vehicle to pass. When they asked the leader of the mob, he replied that it was the vehicle of Krishnendu Paul who is a contesting candidate of a neighboring constituency (Patharkandi LAC-2)… the antecedents of the vehicle were ascertained and it was found to be was registered in the name of Madhumita Paul, wife of contesting candidate, Krishnendu Paul” it added. (ANI)