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Ladakh Candidates Allege Malpractice by Army, Say Officers are Withholding Ballots Over Voting Preferences

It is alleged that the commanding officers are telephonically asking jawans for their voting preference rather than supplying to them the ballot paper for casting votes.

PTI

Updated:May 10, 2019, 11:04 PM IST
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Ladakh Candidates Allege Malpractice by Army, Say Officers are Withholding Ballots Over Voting Preferences
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Srinagar: The district election officer of Leh has shot off a letter to the Army alleging "malpractices" on part of various commanding officers in the electronic postal ballot system during the recently-held Lok Sabha polls there on May 6.

Army sources, however, said preliminary investigations indicate that the complaints are unfounded and appear to have been made to tarnish the image of the force.

"An in-depth investigation by Leh Sub Area GOC is on to ascertain the details in the most impartial manner. The army remains apolitical and we hold this core value in letter and spirit," a source said.

In her letter to General Officer in Command of Leh-based XIV corps, Anvy Lavasa said a complaint has been received from contesting candidates for the Ladakh Parliamentary seat alleging that there are malpractices on the part of various commanding officers of the Indian army in the electronic postal ballot system.

It is alleged that the commanding officers are telephonically asking jawans for their voting preference rather than supplying to them the ballot paper for casting votes, she said in her letter.

"This is a gross violation of the secrecy of voting and malpractice that has the potential to invite strict legal action. In this context, it is requested that all the concerned officers may be sensitised about the issue and the sanctity of the election process maintained," Anvy, who is the daughter of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, said in her letter.

"Complaints were received from contesting candidates Sajjad Hussain and Asgar Ali Karbalai (both Independent) regarding postal ballot to be cast by service personnel. No specific instances have been mentioned in the complaints," Anvy told PTI from Leh.

Ladakh went to polls on May 6 and XIV Corps of the army mans Line of Control with Pakistan and Line of Actual Control with China.

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