Thiruvananthapuram: Repoll has been ordered in three more booths in the state where bogus voting had been established; one in Kasaragod and two in Kannur. With this, the number of booths where repolling will be held on May 19 has gone up to seven. The Central Election Commission had on May 16 announced its decision to hold repoll in four booths (three in Kasaragod and one in Kannur).
In Kasaragod, the repoll will be held in booth number 48 at Kooliyode GHS New Building. The two booths in Kannur for which a repoll has been ordered falls within Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's constituency Dharmadom: booth number 52 at Kunnirikka UPS, Vengad North, and booth number 53 in Kunnirikka UPS, Vengad South. The repoll will be held from 7 am to 6 pm on May 19.
All the three booths in Kasaragod where repoll was ordered on May 16 come under Kallyassery constituency: Booth number 19 Pilathara; booth number 69 Puthiyangadi Juma-ath HS North Block; booth number 70 Juma-ath HS South Block. In Kannur, repoll was ordered in booth number 166 at Pamburuthi Mappila UPS.
In all the cases, the culprits were caught on camera. Webcast visuals had shown three women - Padmini, N P Saleena and K P Sumayya - casting bogus votes in Pilathara's school booth number 19. In booth number 69 and 70, Muhammad Fais, Abdul Samad and K M Muhammad were caught casting bogus votes.
In Kannur's Pamburuthi booth, nine men were found casting bogus votes in the name of 12 people residing in the Gulf. Charges were slapped on those found guilty under section 171 c (which relates to undue influence in elections), 171 d (related to impersonation in elections) and 171 f (penalty clause for both undue influence and impersonation during elections) of the Indian Penal Code. Till date, chief electoral officer Teeka Ram Meena has ordered cases to be filed against 17 persons for 20 cases of bogus votes identified.
With the repoll orderd, the elections conducted on April 23 in these seven booths stand annulled. The decision was taken on the basis of the reports filed by the returning officers, micro observers and the chief electoral officer. The repoll has been ordered under section 58 of the Representation of People's Act, 1951.
The Commission has directed returning officers to make the necessary arrangements and to inform the political parties of the steps they need to take. General observers, too, will be intimated of the repoll.