MP elections 2018: BJP seeks action against Kamal Nath for ‘influencing’ voters during polls

Bhopal: The BJP on Wednesday petitioned the Election Commission and sought action against Congress leader Kamal Nath for “influencing” voters before casting his ballot during the Madhya Pradesh assembly polls. In its complaint to the poll body, the BJP said Nath, accompanied by his friends, before casting his ballot in a polling booth at Chhindwara, showed his palm, the election symbol of his party, and thus influenced the voters there.

The act amounts to “influencing” voters and violates the model code of conduct, a release by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said here. Besides, the BJP lodged another complaint with the Election Commission (EC), stating polling personnel faced a lot of hardship in opening EVMs, delaying start of voting at several places.

The Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) malfunctioned one after another in multiple booths and due to unavailability of their replacements, the polling process was affected by three to four hours, the ruling party said in the release. Due to this, many voters returned home without casting their ballots, it said.

A BJP delegation met EC officials here and lodged the complaints. The saffron outfit demanded re-polling in booths where, according to the party, the voting was hampered for a long time due to EVM malfunctioning. State Chief Electoral Officer V L Kantha Rao said they have sought the Chhindwara district returning officer’s report in connection with the BJP’s complaint against Nath.

“After getting the inquiry report, we will proceed accordingly,” he said. Asked about the BJP demand for re-polling at booths hit by reported EVM malfunctioning, the CEO said observers will examine it and thereafter, forward their reports to the poll body. “According to our knowledge, the voting was not abandoned for more than two hours due to EVM malfunction in any part of Madhya Pradesh,” he said. Nevertheless, the EC will rely on observers’ reports in this connection, Rao added.


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