She tweeted a video of an elderly woman alleging that the polling officer forced her to press the “panje (hand) wala button” when she wanted to press button of “kamal”, the BJP symbol. The video was widely shared on social media. Irani also tagged the Election Commission in her Twitter post and demanded action.
Lok Sabha Elections 2019 | Polling schedule, results date, constituency-wise results, how to check live counting
Asked to comment, state Chief Electoral Officer L Venkateshwarlu said, according to PTI, “It was examined thoroughly and found baseless”.
Following Irani’s allegation, the District Magistrate had ordered an inquiry and replaced the polling officer. “The complaint came from booth number 316 and I immediately sent Sub-Divisional Magistrate and additional District Magistrate to the spot. We changed the polling officer concerned,” said Ram Manohar Mishra, District Magistrate, Amethi.
— Chowkidar Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) May 6, 2019
Targeting the Congress president, Irani told reporters, “Booth capturing karne Rahul Gandhi padhare hain. Rahul Gandhi ko jawab dena parega, chori to pehle se karte hi they… ab vote ki chori karne aye hain… (Rahul Gandhi has come here for booth capturing. Rahul Gandhi will have to reply… he used to steal earlier, now he is stealing votes as well)”
Later in the day, Congress workers also shared videos videos where local residents were heard accusing polling officers of forcing them to press the “lotus button”.