Election Officials Accused Of Favouring BJP During Polling In Northeast

The northeastern states are scheduled to go to polls on April 19, 26, and May 7. In the 2019 general elections, the BJP and its allies won 18 out of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the region.
Election Officials Accused Of Favouring BJP During Polling In Northeast
Election Officials Accused Of Favouring BJP During Polling In Northeast

Allegations of election officials allegedly favoring the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during home voting for senior citizens have surfaced in at least two incidents in the northeastern states.

The first incident was brought to light by H. Suresh Sharma, the election agent of A. Bimol Akoijam, the opposition Congress candidate in the Inner Manipur Lok Sabha seat. Sharma filed a written complaint to the district election officer, alleging "undue influence exerted by the concerned booth level officer (BLO) of Chingmeirong Manning Leikai in Imphal" on April 7.

According to Sharma's complaint, a 93-year-old resident of Chingmeirong Maning Leikei, Manipur, was allegedly instructed by the BLO to vote only for the candidate listed as Sl. No. 2, who happened to be Th. Basanta Singh, the BJP candidate. The BLO reportedly promised the elderly voter monetary rewards for voting in favor of the BJP candidate.

In response to the complaint, returning officer Th. Kirankumar initiated a probe into the matter on April 8, citing a "serious violation with regard to enticing aged voters." While the district election office found the complaint lacking concrete evidence against the BLO, they decided to replace the officer with a new one to conduct postal voting for senior citizens.

A similar incident was reported in Assam's Tinsukia district, where discrepancies were found in the home voting process through postal ballots in the 82-Doomdooma Assembly Segment under the 12-Lakhimpur HPC.

Tinsukia district commissioner and district election officer Swapneel Paul addressed reporters in a press conference on April 7, revealing that a polling team had been engaged for home voting, but discrepancies were found in the usage of counterfoils.

The polling officials and the micro-observer involved in the incident were subsequently barred from all election duties for the current general elections in Tinsukia district.

The northeastern states are scheduled to go to polls on April 19, 26, and May 7. In the 2019 general elections, the BJP and its allies won 18 out of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the region.

Election Officials Accused Of Favouring BJP During Polling In Northeast
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