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Chief Electoral Officer acting in partisan way, says Kodiyeri

Refuting Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Teeka Ram Meena’s finding that bogus voting had taken place in a booth at Pilathara here on April 23, CPI(M) State secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has accused the officer of being partisan.

At a press conference here on Tuesday, Mr. Balakrishnan alleged that the CEO was acting as part of a strategy of the United Democratic Front. Mr. Meena was not prepared to hear the side of those are accused of having cast bogus votes, he said.

No bogus voting had taken place in booth number 19 at Pilathara, he said adding they had cast companion votes as per Form 16. It was not possible to take a physically indisposed voter inside the booth, he said adding the Election Commission should have made arrangements to bring such voters to the booth.

Referring to the CEO’s statement that Saleena N.P., a local body member, who is facing charges of bogus voting in the booth, should step down, the CPI(M) State secretary said the CEO had no right to give such a directive. Only the State Election Commission had the right to revoke the membership of a local body member, he said adding the CEO’s decision was unlawful.

Mr. Balakrishnan said the CEO was not an officer who takes decisions based on trial by the media on webcast footage. The CEO should not fall prey to the partisan propaganda by a section of the media and the UDF leadership.

Stating that the CPI(M) was prepared to face any investigation, Mr. Balakrishnan said elections should be held transparently everywhere. An allegation was raised about bogus voting in Indian Union Muslim League strongholds here, he said.

In Kasaragod, the Left Democratic Front had lodged complaints about polling malpractices in 156 booths, he said adding complaints had also been submitted about polling in 138 booths in Kannur district. No steps have been taken to examine these complaints, he added.

Source: thehindu.com

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