EC moves into action after bogus votes controversy hits Left in Kerala1 min read . Updated: 29 Apr 2019, 09:39 PM IST
- Most of the complaints, raised by the opposition Congress, is from Kannur district
- The CPM has denied the allegations
Bengaluru: In the wake of bogus voting allegations against the ruling Left in Kerala, the state's Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena confirmed three such cases on Monday.
Three women—NP Saleena, KP Summayya and Padmini— cast bogus votes in Kerala's Kasargod constituency, he told reporters. The women will be booked for impersonation and violation of electoral rules, he said. "We have decided to ask the returning officer to book a police case against them under section 171 C, 171 D and 171 F of IPC," he said.
Over the weekend, the Congress had accused the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPM of widespread bogus voting in Kannur and Kasargod constituencies, on the basis of visuals webcast from security cameras and installed in certain problematic polling booths. Later, more visuals that could be linked to bogus voting were unearthed by local news channels and aired, creating a heated debate in Kerala. On Monday morning, Meena had issued a press statement saying that the allegations are of "serious nature" and that he has asked for a probe report from the respective district collectors.
The case related to the three women were one of the firsts to emerge, and they were identified as voters from different booths than they were voting as seen in the visuals. Summayya KP, for instance, is a voter in booth number 24 and serial number 315 in Kasargod constituency, so she is from the same constituency but voted in another booth at 5.41pm as per the visuals, said Meena. He added that Saleena NP is also a serving panchayat member and he has recommended that she should step down from the post in order to submit herself to a preliminary enquiry.
This is the first time a case of bogus voting is caught on camera and actions taken in Kerala's recent election history.