scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Results today, EC sends Delhi, Bihar officials to UP after SP complaints

The poll body also announced the suspension of three poll officials in Uttar Pradesh, amid allegations of irregularities by the Samajwadi Party.

Written by Asad Rehman , Manish Sahu , Anisha Dutta | Lucknow, New Delhi |
Updated: March 10, 2022 7:59:25 am
“Commission has also deputed two special officers - Chief Electoral Officer Delhi to Meerut and Chief Electoral Officer Bihar to Varanasi to supervise the counting arrangements,” the EC said in a statement. (File)

A DAY before the counting of votes in Uttar Pradesh, the Election Commission announced Wednesday evening that the Delhi Chief Electoral Officer would be deputed as special officer in Meerut, while the Bihar CEO would supervise counting in Varanasi.

🗞️ Subscribe Now: Get Express Premium to access the best Election reporting and analysis 🗞️

The poll body also announced the suspension of three poll officials in Uttar Pradesh, amid allegations of irregularities by the Samajwadi Party.

Uttar Pradesh Election Results 2022 |liveFollow live updates here

“Commission has also deputed two special officers – Chief Electoral Officer Delhi to Meerut and Chief Electoral Officer Bihar to Varanasi to supervise the counting arrangements,” the EC said in a statement.

Subscriber Only Stories
UPSC Key-August 17, 2022: Why you should read ‘Remission’ or ‘Free Speech...Premium
BJP shake-up: Gadkari & Shivraj out of Parliamentary Board, Yediyurap...Premium
Crypto romance scams: ‘Asian women’ on Twitter are coming for...Premium
Cheetahs are set to arrive in India, what the big cats have to sayPremium

Protesting SP workers are alleged to have vandalised a car on Tuesday night in Varanasi. The three officials suspended on Wednesday include Varanasi Additional District Magistrate (ADM) Nalini Kant Singh, who  was accused of moving EVMs on Tuesday without informing political parties, SDM (Ghorawal) in Sonbhadra district, and SDM (Baheri) in Bareilly district.

Voters wait in queues to cast their vote for the seventh and last phase of UP Assembly elections, in Varanasi, Monday, March 7, 2022. (PTI Photo)

An FIR was lodged against 300 unidentified people in Varanasi over the Tuesday night incident where alleged SP workers were believed to have vandalised the car of Varanasi ADG Ram Kumar over irregularities in movement of election-related material and EVMs. “We have invoked Sections covering rioting, loot, attempt to murder and others,” a senior police officer said.

Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi and ADG (Law & Order) Prashant Kumar held a press conference sharing details of arrangements made to ensure peaceful and safe counting on March 10. Besides 70,000 police personnel, 245 companies of paramilitary forces and 69 companies of PAC will be deployed, the officers said.

Advertisement

The SP has demanded that the EC webcast the counting at all centres and provide a viewing link to parties.

In a letter to the Chief Election Officer, New Delhi, SP state president Naresh Uttam Patel said, “This will ensure fair, transparent and unbiased counting of votes.”

SP president Akhilesh Yadav tweeted: “The counting centres must be considered ‘pilgrimage of democracy’ and people must go there and stay put to render attempts by the party in power to commit fraud in election results impossible. The SP alliance is winning, and that is why BJP people are attempting to cheat.”

Advertisement
SP president Akhilesh Yadav

ADG Prashant Kumar said strict action would be taken against people found trying to disturb public order. Since Section 144 CrPC is in force, the district administration can take a call on how many people were to be allowed to move with the winning candidate, he said.

On Tuesday, Akhilesh had accused the BJP of “stealing” votes and claimed that his party workers had intercepted a truck carrying EVMs in Varanasi, apart from two other districts, from where officials were transferred Wednesday.

The state chief electoral officer had said that the EVMs were being brought to Varanasi for training of polling officers on Wednesday, and that the “EVMs used in polling are sealed and guarded and are being observed through 24×7 monitoring”.

UP Additional CEO Brahma Deo Ram Tiwari confirmed that action was taken against the three officials for “irregularities”.

“Even if someone has broken the protocol in the smallest of manner without any mala fide intent, we have taken action,” he said.

Advertisement

At his press conference Tuesday, Akhilesh had said: “In Varanasi, EVMs were being transported. Boxes were recovered from a garbage disposal truck in Bareilly. There were three boxes. One had plain ballot papers, while there were also ballot papers with seals. In Sonbhadra as well, EVMs were being taken when people apprehended them. You can confirm from the district magistrate that calls are being made from Lucknow that in places where the BJP is losing, the counting process should be slow and extended till the evening.”

A senior official said the Varanasi ADM faced action because EVMs were transported without keeping political parties in the loop. Singh has been replaced here with ADM Sanjay Kumar.

Advertisement

In Sonbhadra, SDM (Ghorawal) Ramesh Kumar was replaced by SDM Shyam Pratap Singh. Allegations were raised against Kumar of transporting election material in his car without informing political parties. SP workers had stopped his car on Tuesday.

In Bareilly district, SP workers alleged that some boxes with ballot papers and other election-related material were recovered from a vehicle carrying garbage. SDM (Baheri) Parul Tarar, the Returning officer (RO) for Baheri Assembly constituency, was suspended for “dereliction” of duty.

Advertisement

Speaking to reporters Tuesday night, Bareilly DM Shivakant Dwivedi admitted an “error”, but added: “Everyone is satisfied. They have seen the strongroom, and now, there is no issue and all EVMs are protected.”

Late on Wednesday night, a delegation of SP leaders met the UP CEO and submitted a memorandum alleging that there were complaints of a car entering the strongroom in Azamgarh with EVM and ballot papers.

In Sant Kabir Nagar district, a revenue official was suspended after two ballot papers were found in his possession. “These two ballot papers were not used and they are those which are put inside the EVM. It is a mistake, and we are getting an FIR lodged,” said District Magistrate Divya Mittal.

Newsletter | Click to get the day’s best explainers in your inbox

The poll body on Wednesday said 671 counting observers, 130 police observers and 10 special observers will be on the ground to ensure a smooth counting process.

The counting of votes in all 690 Assembly constituencies in Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh will take place Thursday. Counting will also be held for the bypoll in Assam’s Majuli.

“Elaborate arrangements have been made at all the counting centres. All strong rooms, where polled EVMs are kept, are under three-layered security with inner cordon manned by Central Armed Forces. Concerned candidates have been watching the strong room arrangements through CCTV coverage of 24×7, ” the EC said in a statement.

“In poll going States, district administration has imposed Sec 144 CrPC around the counting Halls to ensure that peace and tranquility is not disturbed,” it added.

📣 Join our Telegram channel (The Indian Express) for the latest news and updates

For all the latest Elections News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
First published on: 10-03-2022 at 04:30:13 am

Featured Stories

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement