14 people arrive in Idukki from Tamil Nadu, BJP alleges attempt at bogus voting

The travellers, who said that they had come to Kerala to attend a funeral, are currently in police custody.
Nedunkandam issue
Nedunkandam issue
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Fourteen people travelling from Tamil Nadu to Kerala’s Idukki were taken into custody after the BJP alleged that they were brought to cast bogus votes in the Assembly polls taking place on Tuesday. The two vehicles in which the 14 people were travelling were blocked by local BJP leaders at Nedumkandam. The travellers, however, said that they had come to Kerala to attend a funeral. They are currently in police custody.

“They say that they have come for a funeral. We have to verify that yet. They are with us now. There are no other issues in the area. We will check both, their clarification as well as the allegations against them,” Nedumkandam Sub Inspector Suresh told TNM. Police said that as per preliminary investigation, they have not found any instances of bogus voting.

The local BJP leaders alleged that the travellers were brought through forest roads to cast fake votes in Udumbanchola. They also alleged that they had a liquid which could remove the ink mark from their fingers after casting the fake votes. But the travellers said that they were carrying only sanitisers with them.

The BJP alleged that bogus voting is very common in the district. Many of their candidates had earlier approached the Kerala High Court asking central forces to be deployed to prevent people crossing borders to cast fake votes. Following this, the court had directed the same and central forces were deployed on Tuesday.

The petition alleged that a large number of people crossed the Tamil Nadu border into Kerala and cast bogus votes. Both the BJP and Congress raised allegations of fake voting against the CPI(M) in Udumbanchola and other constituencies of Idukki. Special forces have been deployed in many checkposts, including Kumily, Kambammett, Chinnar and Bodimett.

In the 2016 Assembly elections, CPI(M)’s MM Mani won from Udumbanchola by a margin of 1,109 votes, but both the Congress and BJP had alleged that thousands of bogus votes were cast in the constituency.

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