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Polling officials arrested over rigging in Assam

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Guwahati, April 26:

Two days after the final phase of the Lok Sabha polls in Assam, police Saturday arrested six people, including the presiding officer, four colleagues and a polling agent of a political party, over allegations of casting of votes under influence, officials said.

The incident of rigging took place at polling station No.35 at Bornijora L.P. School in Jalukbari assembly segment of the Gauhati Lok Sabha constituency.

Re-polling in the booth will be held Monday, according to the orders of the Election Commission.

According to the allegations, the polling officials had allowed the agent Bimal Boro to press the button of the electronic voting machines (EVM) for other electors.

The controversy came to the fore Saturday after a local TV channel showed visuals that the election agent was pressing the EVM button himself for several voters.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) Saturday lodged formal complaints in this regard with the state chief electoral officer (CEO).

“We have received formal complaints in this regard. Already a case has been registered against the five polling officials and the election agent in Bornijora polling station,” said Assam CEO Vijayendra.

“They have been arrested and interrogation is on,” he said.

The Election Commission also ordered re-poling in 15 polling stations in Kokrajhar, Gauhati, Mangaldai and Nowgong constituencies, which will be held April 27.

(IANS)