After EVM controversy EC orders repoll in Assam's Karimganj

NEW DELHI: The Election Commission (EC) today ordered a re-poll at No 149- Indira M.V. School of LAC 1 Ratabari (SC) in Assam which had polled during the second phase of polling on Thursday.

This was necessitated after a controversy broke out over the presiding officer carrying the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) after polling had been done, in a vehicle which belonged to the wife of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Krishnendu Paul contesting from a neighbouring seat.

A video of the EVM in Paul’s car had gone viral on social media on Thursday creating a major row, after which the EC had suspended the polling official responsible for the transportation of the EVMs and three other officials and has sought a report from the Special Observer about an incident. 

According to EC officials, while the Commission is awaiting the report of the observers considering the seriousness of the issue, it has ordered a re-poll. 

In a press release issued today, the ECI said that the vehicle carrying the polling party, which consisted of a presiding officer and three polling personnel, broke down on Thursday due to heavy rains and traffic congestion. The sector officer was immediately informed, and arrangements for an alternate vehicle were being made.

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.

Around 9.20 pm, the polling party boarded a vehicle along with the EVMs without checking the ownership of the vehicle, the EC statement added. It was only after a mob surrounded the vehicle, and started pelting stones at it, did the polling party realise that the vehicle belonged to the BJP candidate.

To disperse the violent crowd blank firing had to be resorted and the EVM’s and the remaining polling party were safely escorted from the area and taken into the control of the DEO at 23.20 hrs. On examination, the polled EVM comprising of BU, CU and VVPAT was found to be with its seal intact without any damage whatsoever. 

Despite the fact that seals of the EVM were found intact, EC has nevertheless decided to do a re-poll, the release added. 


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