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Ghasipura booth rigging case: Congress candidate moves HC


Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack/Anandpur, May 1:

Alleging rampant rigging in the recently concluded elections, Congress candidate of Ghasipura Assembly constituency in Keonjhar district Prithviraj Kuanr on Wednesday prayed the Odisha High Court to intervene and direct the chief electoral officer (CEO) to conduct repolling  in all booths of Ghasipura block.

Talking to the media, advocate Kali Prasanna Mishra, fighting the case on behalf of Kuanr, said his client, apprehending rigging in all 105 booths of Ghasipura constituency, had filed a writ in the High Court requesting adequate security measures and video recording in all these booths.

Acting on the petition, the High Court on April 7 had directed the Election Commission to take all possible measures. However, taking advantage of inadequate security provisions in these booths, supporters of the ruling party rigged these booths while depriving the voters to cast their votes to the candidates of their choice.

Though the Election Commission had rejected the demand for repolling in these booths, it later ordered repolling in Dantia booth no-245 on April 25 after receiving video footage on rigging in this booth.

A case was registered against BJD agent Lal Bahadul Mallick who was caught in the video camera while rigging in this booth, but he is yet to be arrested.

Besides, no action has been taken against the presiding officer of the booth who in his report had stated that polling in this booth was peaceful.

“Despite the complaints lodged by Kuanr with the CEO, the latter did not take up the matter seriously for which my client was forced to file a writ in the High Court”, Mishra said.

Apart from Kuanr, an independent Assembly candidate in Ghasipura and an independent Lok Sabha candidate Basudev Nayak have also decided to move the High Court against massive rigging in Ghasipura booths.

Meanwhile, BJP candidate of Ghasipura constituency Satyabrata Panda has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission in New Delhi alleging rampant rigging in 84 booths in Ghasipura.

He has also submitted the video clippings of booth rigging by the ruling party agents.

He has urged the Commission to take exemplary action against the Keonjhar district collector and SP for gross irregularities during the polling in these booths.