Senior officers in some districts of Madhya Pradesh have bought voting compartments worth several lakh rupees at different prices from a private firm, according to official documents accessed through RTI application by social activist Ajay Dubey.
After the difference in purchase price came to the fore, Mr Dubey claimed that the entire exercise to buy voting compartments is illegal and alleged massive corruption by some senior state government officials in it.
The latest exposure may further pose problem for Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan ahead of election. Assembly election in the BJP-ruled state is due to be held later this year.
According to documents, the Collector and District Election Officer of Morena made payments worth several lakh rupees to a firm -- Progressive Consultant -- for supplying 1,800 voting compartments at a rate of Rs 1,936 per unit.
Whereas, the Indore district election officer has purchased 3,500 compartments at the cost of Rs 1,134 per unit, the documents show.
The Deputy District Election Officer of neighbouring Hoshangabad district said it bought 1,175 such compartments at the cost of Rs 1,078 per unit.
Similarly, state election officers in Rajgarh and Chhatarpur districts purchased 1,495 and 1,720 such compartments at the cost of Rs 1,752 per unit.
Voting compartments are make-shift structure used during election to ensure safety of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and also to provide secrecy of votes cast by an elector.
Mr Dubey claimed the state government did not issue any tender for purchase of voting compartments and chose the state-owned Madhya Pradesh Laghu Udyog Nigam Ltd, which in turn engaged the firm for supplying these to the district electoral office.
"I will lodge a complaint with the Election Commission of India about this irregularity in purchase of voting compartments. Some hand-picked bureaucrats close to the chief minister are neck deep in corruption and doing all mischief," he asked.
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