Presiding Officer Suspended in Assam for Alleged Electoral Malpractice

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The district election officer (DEO) for the Karimganj Lok Sabha constituency in Assam has suspended a presiding officer of a polling station for allegedly casting multiple votes for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate on an electronic voting machine (EVM).

Allegations Addressed

The suspension was prompted by the circulation of a video purportedly showing the electoral malpractice. However, an official statement clarified that the video was recorded during a “mock poll” conducted before the actual voting on April 26.

Following an investigation, the DEO suspended the presiding officer, Nazrul Haque Tapadar, citing “gross negligence and dereliction of duty.” The suspension order highlighted Tapadar’s failure to prevent individuals from carrying mobile phones into the polling booth, as seen in the video.

The circulated video allegedly shows a polling agent repeatedly selecting the button corresponding to the BJP candidate. The DEO clarified that polling agents are typically allowed to cast a limited number of test votes for candidates during mock polls. However, investigations are ongoing, including statements from other polling agents.

Polling officials involved in the incident have been issued show cause notices in accordance with protocol.

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