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A day of ahead of Ater assembly bypolls in Bhind, Madhya Pradesh Congress Saturday alleged that the senior officers who had been transferred from the district are staying put there and “serving the BJP government”. “The Bhind Collector, the SP and other officials who had been transferred (on April 2 and 3 respectively following the row over the demonstration of a VVPAT machine on March 31) are staying put in Bhind and serving the state government,” Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Arun Yadav alleged during a press meet in Bhopal.
On the poll panels direction, Bhind Collector Ilayaraja T, Superintendent of Police Anil Singh Kushwaha were transferred on April 2. Kiran Gopal and S Saxena replaced them respectively. Both the new top officials of the district have already taken charge on April 4. “Two collectors and as many SPs are serving the state government in Bhind,” Yadav said casting aspersion over the free and fair polls in Ater.
In Ater, the top contenders are Congress’ Hemant Katare and BJP’s Arvind Singh Bhadoria. According to media reports, a faulty VVPAT (voter -verifiable paper audit trail) machine dispensed slips only with the BJP symbol during its March 31 trial run, irrespective of the EVM button pressed.
VVPAT is a machine which dispenses a slip with the symbol of the party for which a person has voted for. The slip drops in a box and the voter cannot take it home. Bypolls in Ater Assembly constituency in Bhind district along with Bandhavgarh Assembly segment in Umaria district will take place on April 9, while the counting of votes will be held on April 13.