Assam ex-DGP’s VVPAT allegation not true: Election officer probe

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GUWAHATI, April 27: The district election officer of Kamrup metropolitan district has in a report to the state chief electoral officer ruled out any truth in former Assam DGP Harekrishna Deka’s allegation of mismatch in the VVPAT. The DEO stated that other than Deka, no other voter in the polling station complained about malfunctioning of the EVM or the VVPAT.
The DEO stated in his report that after an enquiry into the matter through the constituency magistrate of Guwahati East Lok Sabha constituency was conducted “and found out that there is no truth in the allegations made against the EVM and VVPAT used in Lachit Nagar LP School polling station (where Deka had cast his vote) in Guwahati of being faulty.”
He stated that the sector and the zonal officers of that polling station visited and verified with the public and voters as to the proper and accurate functioning of the EVM and VVPAT used in the actual polling process. “It may be added that mock poll was conducted in the presence of the agents of the candidates contesting to the 7 HPC Guwahati as per the ECI guidelines and there were no complaints received in this regard,” the report states.
Deka had complained that there was discrepancy in the vote cast in the ballot unit and the slip in the VVPAT. Deka then had said that he was told that if he lodged a complaint and it turned out to be false, he could face six months’ jail.
The DEO stated that the presiding officer of that particular polling station “rightfully requested him to go for a test vote under the provisions of Rule 49 MA of Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 and also read out the Provisions under of Rule 49 MA of Conduct of Election Rules, 1961.”
“In this regard, the complainant (Deka) refused to sign the declaration under Rule 49 MA Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 and hence he was not allowed to go for the test vote,” the DEO stated.
“It may be mentioned here that there was no foul play on the part of the presiding officer or any of the polling officials. The matter was also verified with the public who had cast their votes in that polling station and all of them replied in the negative about any faulty or malfunctioning of the EVM and VVPAT used for poll in the concerned PS,” the DEO’s report says.
Deka’s allegations were published in the media on the day of polling on April 23 following which the enquiry by the DEO was carried out on the same day. The DEO added “it can be concluded that the allegations made in the news article is baseless and without any truth in it.”(TNN)