Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Wednesday demanded the removal of the Bhind collector accusing him of depriving eligible service voters of their right to franchise by not issuing postal ballots to them in the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections.
In a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), Singh alleged that "gross irregularities" took place at Lahar assembly seat in Bhind district where over 500 service voters were not issued postal ballots.
Leader of Opposition Dr Govind Singh is the Congress candidate from the Lahar seat, while the BJP has fielded Ambrish Sharma.
Assembly elections were conducted in Madhya Pradesh on November 17 and votes will be counted on December 3.
Singh said that as per the rules for the conduct of elections, "The government servants who were deployed in election procedures had to be issued postal ballots. It must be brought to your notice that over 500 such government servants who had applied under Form-12, have not been issued postal ballots.
'500 govt servants deprived of voting'
"A complaint was made regarding the same on November 11, but no action was taken as a result of which over 500 government servants were deprived of casting their votes." The Rajya Sabha member shared a copy of his letter with the media.
He also alleged that on the day of voting, polling agents belonging to the Congress were not allowed inside the polling booths and at some booths where they were inside, they were forced out by the presiding officers and the security forces.
Singh said the same can be seen from the video footage of the cameras that were installed at the booths and termed it a violation of the rules mentioned in the "Handbook for Returning Officers".
Demands collector's transfer
The Congress leader demanded that strict action be taken against the Bhind collector and he be transferred from there. Additional arrangements should be made for the counting day for the Lahar seat, he said.
As per an election agent of the Congress candidate, Singh alleged, the postal ballots kept on the ITI campus were found to be "tampered with and the seal of the boxes in which they were stored were found to be broken".
Madhya Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Anupam Rajan told PTI that he has asked the district returning officer (collector) to submit a report on the matter and he will act on the issue accordingly.