An electronic voting machine (EVM) was found at the residence of a Trinamool Congress leader in West Bengal’s Uluberia following which the Election Commission (EC) suspended the sector officer who had taken the machine to the politician’s residence and slept there overnight.
The EVM and VVPAT machines were taken to the house of the TMC leader by Tapan Sarkar, the deputed officer for Howrah’s Sector 17 in AC 177 Uluberia Uttar. The politician is reportedly his relative. Sarkar has been suspended and the reserved EVM machine has been removed from the election process, the Election Commission said on Tuesday morning.
The EC also suspended Sub Inspector Sudip Chakraborty for his negligence. He was posted at the West Bengal CID.
“This is a gross violation of Election Commission of India’s instructions for which the Sector Officer has been suspended and charges will be framed for major punishment. The sector police attached to the officer have also been directed to be suspended,” the EC said in a statement.
Hindustan Times reported that Sarkar, the accused sector officer, brought the four reserved EVM machines to TMC leader Goutam Ghosh’s residence on Monday night since the BDO office was “occupied” by central police personnel.
Sarkar claimed that he went there only to rest and took the machines with him inside the house as keeping the machines in the car would have been risky.
West Bengal votes on Tuesday in the third of its eight-phased Assembly polls. Upto 31 Assembly constituencies are going to the polls to decide the fates of 205 candidates.
The incident comes days after an EVM was found inside the car of Assam BJP candidate Krishnendu Paul after the conclusion of the second phase of assembly election in the state. The Election Commission suspended four polling officers and ordered repolling at the Ratabari polling booth in Patharkandi assembly constituency.