Ink row: Video footage of polling shown to losing candidate

By: | Published: June 16, 2016 10:03 PM

Amid the 'ink' row surrounding the Rajya Sabha elections in Haryana, the video footage of the polling area was today shown by the Election Commission to the representatives of two candidates...

Rajya sabhaCongress and Anand had moved EC, alleging that someone had changed the original pen provided by the election officials with another one for a while which resulted in some votes being declared as invalid.(Reuters)

Amid the ‘ink’ row surrounding the Rajya Sabha elections in Haryana, the video footage of the polling area was today shown by the Election Commission to the representatives of two candidates as well as those who had filed a complaint with the poll body.

The Election Commission officials had called the two winning candidates — Union Minister Birender Singh and Independent candidate backed by BJP Subhash Chandra — besides the losing candidate R K Anand, an Independent who was backed by opposition Congress and INLD.

However, Singh and Chandra were not present and had sent their representatives today.

Also Read:Rajya Sabha elections 2016: Subhash Chandra win marred by controversy; blame game starts between Cong, INLD

After seeing the footage, the losing Independent candidate R K Anand, who was backed by opposition parties INLD and Congress, alleged that the manner in which a ruling BJP MLA has behaved during marking his vote, “raises suspicion”.

Congress and Anand had moved EC, alleging that someone had changed the original pen provided by the election officials with another one for a while which resulted in some votes being declared as invalid.

“They (EC authorities) showed us the video footage. I have pointed out the role of BJP MLA Aseem Goel in the whole matter, which raises suspicion,” Anand, a lawyer by profession, told reporters.

Charging Aseem Goel with replacing the pen, he said, “The votes cast later were declared invalid. And when Independent MLA Jai Prakash comes, the pen was again changed resulting all votes being polled in between as invalid.”

As many as 14 votes of MLAs were declared invalid in the Saturday’s polls.

Goel, who had faced similar charges from INLD few days back, again trashed the allegations. Likewise, Independent MLA Jai Prakash also rubbished allegations that he had used any unfair means during the poll.

Anand said it had taken barely few seconds for other MLAs to cast votes, but Aseem Goel stood in the polling area for too long.

“It took other MLAs barely 10-15 seconds to mark their vote, but Goel took 50-60 seconds despite being so young and having no problem in moving fast. All this raises suspicion,” he said.

He also alleged that Goel bent down way too much before registering his vote which raises suspicion.

About the pen, Anand said, “It is not clear which pen was there and was it replaced by another one, how the pen made its entry, what was the condition of replaced pen, who kept it there is not clear from the video. But I believe that after Aseem’s entry, votes were marked with another pen.”

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