A day after ordering the arrest of the polling agent, who was caught on camera for ‘influencing’ voters inside a booth in Haryana’s Palwal, the Election Commission has now ordered re-polling at the polling station.
"On enquiry by the Observer, the complaint was found to be true. Commission has therefore ordered a fresh poll at this polling station on May 19," the poll panel said in a statement.
An FIR was lodged against the polling agent after the one minute, an 18-second long clip showing the man dressed in a blue t-shirt and jeans going and apparently pressing the EVM button as the women voters prepare to cast their votes went viral on social media.
एक नेता को जिताने के लिए ये तरीका सही नहीं है! ! ये संविधान, कानून और नैतिकता के खिलाफ भी है! ! ! गाँव असावटी पलवल (हरियाणा) pic.twitter.com/m2euOOBkf2— SHAHID KURESHI (@UqAsmTfpZGNwK0e) May 12, 2019
The incident took place at Asawati village at booth number 88-Asoti polling station of Prithla assembly segment in the Faridabad parliamentary constituency, where polling was held on May 12. The polling agent was arrested and subsequently released on bail.
"An FIR was lodged under Indian Penal Code sections 171 C (undue influence at elections) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant) and section 135 of RP Act 1951 against the polling agent, Giriraj Singh," the statement reads.
"The presiding office Amit Atri has been placed under suspension for the dereliction of duty and criminal action is also being initiated against the presiding officer. Micro observer Sonal Gulati has not reported the incident correctly for which the commission has barred her from any election-related work
Taking a serious note of failure to take immediate action on the incident, the poll body said the Returning Officer 10 of Faridabad constituency has been transferred out from present posting. The statement said that Ashok Kumar Garg, IAS, will now be posted in place of Atul Kumar as District Electoral Officer and Returning Officer," it added.