Updated: April 4, 2021 8:48:53 pm
Central armed forces would be deployed as static teams in four Kerala-Tamil Nadu border check posts in Idukki district on the day of polling as well as on the day before to prevent bogus voting by persons coming from Tamil Nadu, the Election Commission told the High Court.
Kerala and Tamil Nadu will go to polls on April 6.
Three UDF candidates from Devikulam, Udumbanchola and Peerumedu in Idukki district, which share a border with Tamil Nadu, had on Saturday approached the high court, seeking steps to prevent bogus voting by persons crossing over from Tamil Nadu to these three constituencies. Hundreds of people living in Tamil Nadu constituencies, bordering Kerala’s Idukki district, hold voter ID cards in Kerala as well.
The candidates told the court that in the past, a large number of persons whose names are included in the voters list of Assembly constituencies in Tamil Nadu, crossed borders into Kerala and cast their votes in the neighbouring state. Such bogus votes can seriously affect the electoral process, they added in their submission to the court.
The candidates, EM Augusthy, Cyriac Thomas and D Kumar, further told the court that in the past, police had allowed the bogus voters to cross the border and cast votes in constituencies they are contesting. They alleged that the three constituencies together have as many as 50,000 inter-state bogus voters.
Responding to the petitioners, the Election Commission told the court that the District Electoral Officer, Idukki, has decided to deploy Central Armed Police as Static Teams at check posts on the date of polling as well as on the eve of voting.
After being informed of the steps taken by the district electoral officer, Idukki, the bench of Justice N Nagaresh disposed of the petitions, assuring the petitioners that adequate steps, including deployment of central forces on inter-state borders, would be implemented without fail.
The Election Commission told the court that people who need to cross the border for genuine reasons would be allowed to travel after proper verification of their identities, and sealing of the check post would not result in any restrictions in movement.