EC orders heavy security for repoll in Tamil Nadu’s Velachery constituency

The repoll comes after 3 Corporation employees were found transporting EVM and VVPAT machines of the booth on two-wheelers.
EVM machines stored in a room
EVM machines stored in a room
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The Election Commission of India will be deploying police in large numbers at booth No 92-M of Chennai’s Velachery, where repolling is scheduled to take place on April 17. Commission Secretary Malay Mallick has written to the Tamil Nadu Police Chief to deploy heavy security at the polling booth from 7 am to 7 pm on the day. The Election Commission ordered repolling for booth 92-M of the Velachery Assembly Constituency after four men, including three Chennai Corporation employees, were caught carrying two Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and VVPAT machines on two-wheelers after the completion of voting for the state Assembly election on April 6.

In an order addressed to the returning officer of Velachery, the Election Commission nullified the votes cast on April 6 and directed for the repoll to be conducted on April 17. The Election Commission had cancelled the polling under section 58(1)b [irregularity in conducting the poll] of the Representation of the People Act.

The EC requested the officials to publicise the information in the polling areas, and to inform the contesting candidates through a written note. The order also said that the poll shall be carried out in accordance with instructions mentioned in the handbook for returning officer.

The order to conduct the repoll came after the opposition parties in Tamil Nadu—DMK and Congress—lodged complaints with the Election Commission of India alleging malpractice due to inappropriate handling of the EVM and VVPAT machines. Both the parties had demanded a repoll citing serious “procedural lapses".

Three Chennai corporation officials were caught by the public at Chennai’s Velachery-Tharamani road, for carrying two EVMs and VVPAT machines on two-wheelers. While the EVMs were not used, Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo said that 15 votes were cast in the VVPAT machine during the 50 minutes it was in use. The three Corporation employees were suspended from service after an investigation conducted based on complaints by the opposition.

(With IANS inputs)

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