- Polling agent caught on video trying to influence women voters
- Poll body acted after viral video was brought to its notice; man arrested
- Poll body said voting process was not affected at the polling station
A polling agent in Faridabad near Delhi was arrested on Sunday after he allegedly influenced voters in the sixth round of the national election. The action was taken against the official after a video on Twitter was brought to the notice of the Haryana election body.
The video shows a man in blue t-shirt siting at his table inside a polling booth at Asaoti in Faridabad Lok Sabha seat's Prithla. Women voters can be seen standing in a queue inside the room. The man walks up to the voting compartment as a woman prepares to cast her vote, appears to press a button on the voting machine before returning to his seat. He repeats the act with two other women.
In the video, no other official present in the room tried to stop the man from going to the voting compartment.
Many people tagged the Haryana election body's Twitter handle and sought action against the official.
"Prompt action taken. FIR lodged. Person behind bars. Observer enquired the matter personally and is satisfied that polling was never vitiated (sic)," the District Election Office in Faridabad tweeted after the Haryana election body instructed them to take action. The local election office said the polling agent was trying to influence "at least 3 lady voters".
Though the election body admitted that the man was trying to influence voters, it said the polling process was not affected. As questions are being raised as to how the the poll body is claiming that the voting process was not vitiated citing that the agent influenced only three voters, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa said, "The scrutiny of this polling station will be comprehensive."
The Election Commission of India said it sent the Faridabad election observer to the booth for a probe. Based on the election body's complaint, the man was arrested by the police on Sunday evening and has been charged for alleged booth capturing.
The person in the video is the Polling agent who has been arrested in the afternoon itself. FIR lodged. He was trying to effect at least 3 lady voters. Observer & ARO with teams visited the booth at Asawati in prithala constituency. He is satisfied that voting was never vitiated— DISTRICT ELECTION OFFICE FARIDABAD (@OfficeFaridabad) May 12, 2019
The election commission said it will study the report of the Faridabad election observer before deciding further action.
Haryana recorded a voter turnout of 69.50 per cent after ten parliamentary seats voted on Sunday. Faridabad recorded a 64.46 turnout.
In Faridabad, Union Minister Krishan Pal Gurjar of the BJP is seeking re-election. Avtar Singh Bhadana is the Congress candidate and Pandit Naveen Jaihind is the Aam Aadmi Party candidate.