Video of false voting in Kerala goes viral, polling officer orders probe

Chief Electoral Officer of Kerala Tikaram Meena on Saturday sought a report from the Kannur and Kasargode district collectors, after a video in which some people were seen allegedly casting more than one vote in north Kerala went viral.

In the video, which was later picked up by Malayalam news channels, some people were seen indulging in bogus voting with the connivance of poll officials. Saleena P P, a CPI (M) panchayat member, was seen casting two votes in the same booth. Another CPI (M) leader Sumayya K P, P Padmini and four others were also seen casting more than one vote. At one place, a local leader who was standing in the booth was seen distributing fake voter ID cards. In one of the booths, doors were shut while some people were indulging in impersonation and other malpractices. In another centre, unauthorized persons were seen inside booths. Since photo and videos are restricted in polling areas it seems the video footages were leaked by election officials.

“It is a serious issue. I have asked the Kannur and Kasargode district collectors to inquire into the veracity of the video and submit a report at the earliest. We will take strict action against those indulging in bogus voting and officials who connived with them,” he said adding bogus voting cannot be done without the connivance of polling officials. Congress candidate in Kannur K Sudhakaran said he will move the Supreme Court soon. He said in Kannur bogus voting was done in 94 booths including the booth of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. “I alerted the district collector a couple of times about rampant malpractices. But he kept quiet fearing repercussion from the ruling party. It is sad that officials are supporting those who subvert the election process,” he said.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala also said the party would approach the election commission and court against this. But the ruling CPI (M) has dismissed these charges. “In the face of a severe drubbing they are making wild allegations,” said Kannur district secretary M V Jayarajan. The state had gone to the polls on April 23 to elect 20 Lok Sabha members and a record 77.68% polling was registered this time.

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