The police seized two EVMs from the residence of the zonal officer of the Vasai Assembly constituency Wednesday morning following a complaint by former MLA and Independent candidate Vivek Pandit.
According to police, the EVMs were seized from the residence Ashok Mandhare in a joint raid by the Waliv police and the local tehsildar office.
Pandit said as soon as he learned about Mandhare possessing EVMs, he approached Returning Officer from Vasai, Dadarao Datkar and Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) of Vasai S D Kokate, after which a raid was conducted and the machines seized.
Pandit, however, alleged there no action was taken against Mandhare after which he had to approach Palghar district collector Abhijit Bangar.
Pandit said that as per rules, EVMs are supposed to be kept under police security. “Mandhre is helping Hitendra Thakur, a candidate of the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi (BVA), who is my competitor,” he claimed.
Bangar confirmed the incident and said orders had been issued to the RO to initiate action against Mandhare. “We will get a report from the RO in a few days and only then an FIR under Representation of People Act, 1951, would be filed against the official concerned, if he is found guilty prime facie,” he said, adding that this was a serious offence as no officials were allowed to take EVMs out of the polling station.
Meanwhile Sunil Koli, the tehsildar of Vasai, said there was no malpractice on part of Mandhre as the two EVMs were kept in reserve to be used in case any EVM failed in the 10 to 12 polling booths assigned to the ZO. “Furthermore, the two EVMs in question were sealed,” Koli said.