A polling agent of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) was arrested on Saturday after he allegedly entered a strong room without permission and clicked a picture, which was later circulated online. Strong rooms are heavily guarded rooms to store Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) after polling takes place.
The accused has been identified as Venkatesh, the poll agent of TRS Malkajgiri candidate Marri Rajasekhar Reddy. Venkatesh is also a local party leader and the husband of Kesaara Sarpanch Madhuri, the police said. A photo of Venkatesh along with Medchal MLA and sitting Telangana Minister Malla Reddy also did the rounds. Marri Rajasekhar is Malla Reddyâ€™s son-in-law.
â€śThe accused entered the strong room in Bogaram village while the EVMs used in the polls were still kept there and the room was being sealed,â€ť Circle Inspector Narender Goud was quoted as saying.
While the police personnel and officials of the Election Commission can document the process of EVMs being stored and sealed inside the strong room, polling agents are only allowed to oversee the process on behalf of their respective political parties.
As the picture did the rounds and the Congress party cried foul, Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) CEO SVR Chandra Sekhar, who is the Assistant Returning Officer of the constituency, filed a complaint with the Keesara police.
The police booked a case against Venkatesh, who was later presented before a local court and remanded to judicial custody.
Telangana registered 62.69 percent polling in the elections to all 17 Lok Sabha seats held on Thursday. Khammam recorded the highest voter turnout of 75.28 percent, while Hyderabad was the lowest at 44.75 percent. In Secunderabad, 46.26 percent cast their votes.
Polling at all 46,120 polling stations went smooth and peaceful. Nearly 2.97 crore voters were eligible to cast their votes to decide the fortunes of 443 candidates, including 25 women.
The polling percentage had come down compared to Assembly elections. The turnout was 73.20 percent in the Assembly polls held in December 2018. The turnout was 72.31 percent in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.