- Pool Officer in Bengal suspended after he sleeps over Trinamool leader’s home with EVM
- Trinamool Congress leader was the poll officer’s relative
- Both EVM and VVPAT have been taken out of stock
A Bengal election officer has claimed that he slept overnight with an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) at the home of his relative, who is a Trinamool Congress leader, has now been suspended by the Election Commission.
Neither the EMV nor the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) will be used in the polls, said the election body on Tuesday morning.
The deputed officer for Sector 17 in AC 177 Uluberia Uttar of Howrah, Tapan Sarkar, was found to have taken a reserve EVM to his relative’s home who is a politician and slept over. The election officer will now face charges for major punishment, authorities have said.
Police officials attached to him will also face action, they said.
In a release, the Election commission said, “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.”
Neeraj Pawan, the General Observer, has checked all the seals on the EVM, which has now been stored in a separate room under the observer’s custody, the Commission has said.
Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of India, has demanded for a full enquiry on the matter, reported ANI.
Union Minister Javadekar said, “It is more serious because today is voting…this may be a bigger thing than it seems. So we demand that there should be a full inquiry of these VVPATs and EVMs found in his house”.
The incident in West Bengal comes amidst an already heated poll session in the statewhen both the ruling party Trinamool and the opposition BJP have been accusing each other of trying to manipulate the system to their own advantage.
The incident comes to life just a few days after a separate EVM being found in a BJP leader’s private vehicle in neighbouring Assam.
Today, West Bengal will witness its third of the 8 phased Assembly Polls.
As many as 31 Assembly constituencies are going to the polls to decide the fates of 205 candidates.