While postal voting for absentee voters, including people aged 80 and above, persons with disabilities and those with COVID-19, wrapped up in Kerala on Wednesday, a video from Alappuzha district has kicked up a row. The video shows an employee of a cooperative bank from Kayamkulam in Alappuzha distributing welfare pension to a woman while polling officers were at her house carrying out the procedure for postal voting.
After the video became controversial, Alappuzha District Collector A Alexander issued an order suspending the bank employee on Wednesday as part of an investigation.
In the video, the man, who was later identified as Subash CS, a collection agent with the Kayamkulam Village Service Cooperative Bank, can be seen counting currency notes and handing it over to the senior citizen while polling officers had come to her house for postal voting. In the visuals, polling officers, including a policeman, can be seen standing in front of the woman’s house.
Incidentally, after handing over the money to the woman, the collection agent goes on to say that if the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government came to power, they would increase the pension. Hearing this, the woman’s family members can be seen hitting back at the bank employee, saying, “Amma is not a fool.”
However, there was no intervention from the polling officers.
The issue was taken up by workers of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in the district and a complaint was reportedly filed with the District Collector.
On Wednesday night, the Collector issued an order suspending the collection agent, after it was found that he had violated the rules.
“The action was taken based on the report filed by the Returning Officer. There was a complaint that there had been a violation of the code of procedures in place during the election,” the Alappuzha district administration stated.