Kerala CEO seeks report on alleged bogus voting
A file photo of voters in Kochi. Representative image: PTI

Kerala CEO seeks report on alleged bogus voting

Chief electoral officer (CEO) of Kerala Teeka Ram Meena on Saturday (April 27) sought reports from Kasargod and Kannur district collectors over alleged bogus voting at various polling booths in the Kasargod Lok Sabha constituency.

“We have got complaints from certain places. The Election Commission will take further action in this regard. We are waiting for the report. We’ll examine all such complaints,” Meena told reporters here.

Local TV channels aired visuals of a few people, including women, casting their votes twice at two polling booths in Kasaragod constituency, which went to polls in the third phase of the Lok Sabha elections on April 23.

Opposition Congress Leader Ramesh Chennithala lashed out at the ruling LDF alleging that the CPI(M) has resorted to bogus voting fearing defeat in the polls.

He said the Left was trying to manipulate the public mandate and the Congress would initiate legal proceedings against the bogus voting.

“From video evidence, it could be seen that the Left has cast around 5,000 bogus votes in Kasargod constituency. We will take appropriate legal steps. We have warned the poll officials of such unlawful practices much before the polling day, but the authorities failed to take any action,” Chennithala said.

The CCTV visuals of the polling booth shows six people, including two women, voting more than twice at polling booth number 17 and 19 in the AUP School Pilathara in Kannur district which is part of Kasaragod constituency.

The video also shows some political leaders standing inside the polling booth while the voting took place. The politically volatile north Kerala witnessed a fierce battle between the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and the opposition Congress-headed UDF in the three Lok Sabha constituencies of Vadakara, Kannur and Kasaragod.

Kasaragod, located towards northern edge of the state and surrounded by the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea,is considered the stronghold of CPI(M). The last time Left was defeated here was in 1984.

To keep its bastion intact, the Left party has fielded former member of legislative assembly KP Satheesh Chandran from Kasaragod that was thrice represented by veteran AK Gopalan.

Congress had fielded senior leader Rajmohan Unnithan to wrest the seat from the Left.

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