Kasargod bogus voting row turns murkier

The row over bogus voting, especially at Kasaragod constituency, is turning murkier with allegations and counter allegations, and visual proof.  File photo

The row over bogus voting, especially at Kasaragod constituency, is turning murkier with allegations and counter allegations, and visual proof. The North Kerala constituency witnessed an intense political battle with the Congress trying to wrest the Lok Sabha seat from the Left front after three decades.

The big question doing the rounds is whether the Election Commission will go for a re-polling.

Kerala chief electoral officer Teeka Ram Meena told DH that if the political parties demanded in writing for a re-poll, the EC may consider it. But, so far, no specific demands had been made to him, he said.

It was the Congress camp that initially came out with video proof of local CPM leaders, including elected women members of local bodies, casting multiple votes in the constituency. Close on its heels, the Left-front countered it with visual proof of workers of Indian Union Muslim League, a key coalition partner of the Congress, casting multiple votes.

Meena said that each and every complaint in this regard was being probed into and reports were being sent to the Election Commission. "It is for the election commission to decide whether to go for a re-polling or not. The commission might be also holding discussion with the returning officer of the constituency, who is Kasaragod district collector," said the chief electoral officer.

With the Chief Electoral Officer directing actions against CPM workers after a preliminary probe found the bogus vote allegations to be true, the CPM leadership in Kerala directly attacked the officer with allegations of colluding with the Congress. Meanwhile, a probe is also on into allegations against IUML workers.

CPM candidate at Kasaragod K P Sateesh Chandran said that so far no decision on seeking re-polling, even at any booth, had been taken. He also added that such instances of bogus voting had been taking place in Kasaragod over the past many elections. Congress candidate Rajmohan Unnithan was not available for comments.

Kasaragod witnessed a fierce political fight this time as the Congress set its eyes on a seat which the CPM has held since 1989. In the wake of the murder of two Youth Congress workers in the district, allegedly by CPM workers, just ahead of the polls, the Congress highlighted political murders as one of the major poll issues.

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