ONE OF the three panels contesting for the 10 graduate and four management seats to the Senate of the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) have asked how two centres in Ahmednagar registered 95 per cent voting percentage when the overall turnout was 47 per cent.
The panel — Vidyapeeth Vikas Manch (VVM) — has alleged bogus voting and foul play in the varsity election process. Prasenjit Fadnavis, cousin of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, is one of the candidate of VVM.
The elections took place in 58 registered voting centres in Pune, Ahmednagar,Nashik and Dadra-nagar Haveli districts.
Pune district recorded the lowest turnout in the elections, with 38 per cent of 3 lakh odd voters turning up, while the highest turnout was recorded in Ahmednagar — 77 per cent of 9,794 voters.
Terming the figures as “unnatural” and “suspicious”, the VVM has questioned how the turnout could be as high as 95 per cent (3,570 of 3,596) and 90 per cent (500 of 551) at two centres in Rahta and Shevgaon — Centre No 30 and 35.
The panel has also demanded that the voting process be declared as invalid and have sought a re-voting.
Meanwhile, varsity authorities confirmed having received a complaint in this regard and said they had prior information about the possibility of such an event.
Arvind Shaligram, registrar of the university, said, “We had received complaints about the possibility of wrong-doing at these centres ahead of the Senate elections. But, at that time, they did not want to give us a written complaint… Yet, taking it seriously, we had deployed one observer at these centres, in addition to the election staff.”
“Now, that a written complaint has been filed, the university will first question the observer, then institute a committee and probe into the incident. It should take at least two days,” he added.
While no videography was done at the voting centres, the registrar said, certain security measures were taken this year to avoid bogus voting.
For example: all voting centres were provided with voter lists carrying photographs of the voters, besides signatures.
“Even if we discount saying that photographs were not matched properly, we still have signatures to cross-verify the voters. If needed, that will be done,” he added.