Kozhikode: UDF activists have come out with fresh allegations on bogus voting at Kayyur Cheemeni panchayat in Kasaragod. It is alleged that some fraudsters had cast votes on behalf of 11 NRIs in booth number 36 and 37 at Kayyur Cheemeni panchayat for the Kerala assembly polls on April 6.
The UDF activists criticised that the polling officials were inefficient to prevent bogus voting in most of the booths in Kasaragod.
They also carried documents to prove bogus voting in the name of 11 expatriates in this panchayat. The UDF activists handed over this evidence to mathrubhumi.com.
“A bogus voter reached booth number 37 around 12.45 pm. When we opposed, the officials asked him to clear the spot. Though we noticed other bogus voters and opposed, they had cast vote on behalf of 11 expatriates,” pointed out UDF activists.
They also alleged that bogus voting took place in these booths with the support of the 11 expatriates’ family members.
It is alleged that the bogus voters reached the booth with the original voters’ ID collected from the families. Though the bogus voters had no resemblance with the original person, the polling officials ignored it while verifying the ID proof.
Talking to mathrubhumi.com, UDF activists pointed out that their booth agents have a clear idea of the people who were engaged in the bogus voting.
The list handed over by UDF activists named 11 people who are working in UAE. Two others are residing in Goa and one person is working in Merchant Navy.
None of these people was in their native place during the assembly polls. But somebody on behalf of them reached the booth to exercise their adult franchise.
There are complaints that the bogus voting on behalf of these non-residents was pre-planned.
The UDF activists informed that they have handed over the complaint to the UDF leadership. They added they are not raising a complaint locally fearing threat to life.
UDF activists pointed out that they did not deploy booth agents in most of the booths in Kasaragod due to threat from opponents.
Meanwhile, Kasaragod district deputy collector and district returning officer Sirosh P John dismissed the allegations of bogus voting.
Talking to mathrubhumi.com, the official informed that no bogus voting took place in the district and an efficient mechanism to counter bogus voting was established in these polls.
“All polling booths were under the surveillance of web cameras throughout the polling. The district collector’s office had the facility to monitor all booths through live broadcasting. We didn’t notice any irregularities in the booths,” said Sirosh.
He pointed out that voting on behalf of 11 NRIs will be confirmed after the counting day. At present, all details are kept along with EVM in the strong rooms. So checking the list of voters who exercised their adult franchise is not possible before May 2.
"We have confirmed that bogus voting took place in the district. Polling officials in charge of the booths in Kasaragod district must give an explanation after the election results," UDF booth coordinator told mathrubhumi.com.