Four police personnel were suspended and a poll official was issued show cause notice in Bihars Muzaffarpur district on Tuesday for keeping six EVMs inside a hotel room while voting was on for the fifth phase, a top official said. The district authorities were, however, quick to assert that none of the EVMs were used or their seals broken.
The matter came to light when several local leaders of the opposition 'Mahagathbandhan' noticed that poll-related paraphernalia were being taken inside a hotel by Sector Magistrate Awadhesh Kumar and raised an alarm. Sector Magistrate Awadhesh Kumar has been served with a show cause notice and based on his reply, which has to come within 24 hours, further action will be taken," Bihar Joint Chief Electoral Officer Pravin Kumar Gupta told a press conference in Patna.
"The four police personnel a sub-inspector and three constables who accompanied him have been suspended, he added. Muzaffarpur district magistrate and district election officer, Alok Ranjan Ghosh dismissed allegations of suspected misuse of the EVMs.
"None of the EVMs were used for voting and all were sealed. These were kept in reserve meant for replacement in case of a snag being reported from anywhere, he said. Meanwhile, a demonstration was staged by local leaders of the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP), a fledgling outfit which has fielded its candidate Rajbhushan Chaudhary for the 'Mahagathbandhan', and the RJD the largest constituent of the opposition formation.
They alleged that the incident pointed towards an attempt to rig the polls by the local administration in favor of the NDA, which is in power in Bihar. The NDA has fielded sitting BJP MP Ajay Nishad from Muzaffarpur which went to the polls in the fifth phase on Monday..
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