The Election Commission on Tuesday suspended a Bengal election officer who claimed that he slept overnight at the home of his relative, a Trinamool Congress leader with an electronic voting machine (EVM). The EVM and VVPAT will not be used in the polls, the election body said this morning.
Tapan Sarkar, the deputed electoral officer for Howrah’s Sector 17 in AC 177 Uluberia Uttar, was found to have taken a reserve EVM for a sleepover to his relative’s home who is a politician from Trinamool Congress. The authorities have said charges for major punishment will now be framed against the official. Police officials attached to him will also face action, they said.
The Election Commission in a release said that this is a gross violation of the Election Commission of India’s instructions for which the Sector Officer has been suspended and charges will be framed for major punishment.
The EC has also said that the reserved EVM found at the TMC leader’s home has been removed from the election process for the assembly elections. EC has also said that the sector police attached to the election officer has also been directed to be suspended. General Observer Neeraj Pawan has checked all seals of the EVM, which has now been stored in a separate room under the observer’s custody, the Commission has said.
News agency ANI reported that Union Minister Prakash Javadekar demanded a full inquiry into the matter, saying it is more serious because today is the voting day and this may be a bigger thing than it seems. So the government demands that there should be a full inquiry of these VVPATs and EVMs found in his house, he said.