The Weekend Leader - 2 caught on camera casting 'bogus votes', CPI-M says it was open vote

2 caught on camera casting 'bogus votes', CPI-M says it was open vote



The CPI-M on Saturday evening denied their cadres did any wrong after two women puportedly shown on camera casting 'bogus' votes, said they were prepared to face any probe.

Television channels in Kerala on Saturday aired visuals of two women casting their votes twice at two polling booths in Kasaragod Lok Sabha constituency, which went to the polls along with 19 other parliamentary seats in the state in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections on April 23.

Responding to the TV footage, Kannur CPI-M district secretary M.V. Jayarajan told the media that the delay in their response was on account of collecting facts.

"The reports about these women and a man, shown on TV channels under the misguided information that they were doing something wrong, are baseless and against the facts. The poll officials in the respective booths are aware of what happened. These canards are being spread by Congress leaders. We are ready to face any probe in the matter," said Jayarajan.

As soon as the report came out in the morning, Rajmohan Unnithan, Congress candidate from Kasaragod, said casting bogus votes was nothing new and has been the order of the day, especially in CPI-M dominated areas.

"We have been saying this for a while now, but nothing has happened. Action should be taken against such acts," said Unnithan, who's contesting against former legislator and senior CPI-M leader K.P. Satishchandran from Kasaragod.

K. Sudhakaran, former MP and Congress candidate from Kannur, said he was least surprised by the visuals of bogus polling because he has been a victim of this in the past.

"Bogus voting is a common practice in Kannur and Kasaragod, which is done mainly by the CPI-M. On Tuesday, we had informed the District Collector about widespread bogus polling. He told us he was looking into the matter. But like always, no action was taken. We are collecting more information and would take legal recourse," said Sudhakaran.

Chief Electoral Officer of the state, Tikka Ram Meena, told the media that follow-up actions have been initiated.

"The whole purpose of having webcasting on polling day is meant to tackle this (bogus voting). As soon as we receive an official complaint, we do what needs to be done," said Meena.

Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said: "We will take appropriate legal steps. The officials who were party to such rigging should also be taken to task. We had cautioned the election officials before the polling day, but the authorities didn't act." IANS

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