Nagpur: Complaint against Congress candidate, supporters for ‘disrupting VVPAT counting’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/nagpur-complaint-against-congress-candidate-supporters-for-disrupting-vvpat-counting-5749640/

Nagpur: Complaint against Congress candidate, supporters for ‘disrupting VVPAT counting’

“We lodged a complaint after Patole and about 25 supporters barged into the VVPAT counting room and raised slogans disrupting the counting process,” Collector Ashwin Mudgal told The Indian Express.

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“If found guilty, Patole may attract a prison term and may also be debarred from contesting elections for six years,” a senior official said. (Representational image)

NAGPUR Collector has lodged a police complaint against Congress candidate Nana Patole following an alleged incident of ruckus created by him and his supporters during the counting process on May 23.

“We lodged a complaint after Patole and about 25 supporters barged into the VVPAT counting room and raised slogans disrupting the counting process,” Collector Ashwin Mudgal told The Indian Express.

Police Commissioner B K Upadhyay said, “We have registered an offence under Section 135 of the Bombay Prohibition Act and Section 188 of the IPC for violation of orders in force.”

“If found guilty, Patole may attract a prison term and may also be debarred from contesting elections for six years,” a senior official said.

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According to the complaint, Patole barged into the room where the Returning Officer( RO), who is the Collector, was counting VVPAT slips, and got into an altercation with the RO, who had objected to the group entering the room in violation of rules that allow only one representative of each political party there.

On this, Patole supporters allegedly started raising slogans against the RO.

The complaint also stated that Patole threatened the RO saying, ‘Baghun ghein, mi dakhavto tumhala (I will see you, I will show you)’.

Sources said, “All of this was recorded on CCTV cameras, which has been submitted to police.”

Patole, who lost the election against BJP bigwig Nitin Gadkari, reportedly had two complaints earlier in the day during postal ballot counting.

The first was about the difference between the trend being displayed on the EC website that showed fifth round when the counting in the fourth round was had been completed.

The explanation offered was that there was a separate feeding of data at the level of Assistant RO and it was only showing the trend of the next round. The other complaint was that the EVM numbers were not matching.

A separate letter was also sent to the Police Commissioner about absence of security personnel when Patole and his supporters entered the VVPAT counting room.

Also, a communication regarding the incident, was made by the Collector to the Chief Election Commissioner of India, Chief Election Officer of the state and Nodal Officer (Law and Order), Maharashtra.

Patole was unavailable for a comment.