Bharatiya Janata Party polling agent was detained for allegedly ‘trying to influence voters at a polling booth’ in Haryana’s Palwal after the video of the purported scene went viral on the internet. This prompted the Election Commission to order re-polling.
In a recent statement on Monday, the poll panel added: “On enquiry by the Observer, the complaint was found to be true. Commission has therefore ordered a fresh poll at this polling station on May 19.”
The shocking incident happened at Asawati village in the Faridabad parliamentary constituency where polling was conducted on May 12.
The Election Commission (EC) ‘placed the presiding officer concerned under suspension’ for misconduct of duty and also initiated criminal action against him.
The re-polling was ordered for breach of secrecy of voting.
“An FIR was lodged under Indian Penal Code sections 171 C (undue influence at elections) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant) and section 135 of RP Act 1951 against the polling agent, Giriraj Singh,” it said.
“The presiding office Amit Atri has been placed under suspension for the dereliction of duty and criminal action is also being initiated against the presiding officer. Micro observer Sonal Gulati has not reported the incident correctly for which the commission has barred her from any election-related work for three years,” it said.
IAS officer named Ashok Kumar Garg has been posted by the Election Commission as new RO of the Faridabad constituency.
“He has been directed to join at Faridabad by forenoon tomorrow (Tuesday),” the EC said in another statement Monday night.
The polling agent was detained after a complaint by the EC and was released on bail.
As per the video clip, the polling agent could be seen approaching close to the enclosure meant for casting votes where he could be seen influencing the voters. It has been learnt that Krishan Pal Gurjar of the BJP is seeking re-election from Faridabad.
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)