West Bengal Assembly elections: Poll officer suspended for sleeping over at TMC leader’s house with EVM machine

Kolkata: Election Commission suspends a West Bengal poll officer for sleeping over at Trinamool Congress leader’s house with EVM machine.

Tapan Sarkar, the deputed officer for Howrah’s Uluberia (North), was found to have taken a reserve EVM to his politician-relative’s home to sleep over.

According to Election Commission officials, charges for major punishment will now be framed against the official.

The officials also confirmed that the EVM and VVPAT will not be used in the polls.

General Observer Neeraj Pawan has checked all seals of the EVM, which is now kept in a separate room under the observer’s custody.

“Such act is a major violation of Election Commission of India’s instructions for which the Tapan Sarkar has been suspended and charges will be framed for major punishment,” mentioned Election Commission in a press release.

Notably, at a time when both the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party are maligning each other over manipulating the EVM machines, such incidents will trigger the political slugfest between the two parties even more.

It can be recalled that voters during the first phase on March 27 in parts of Midnapore claimed that though they are voting for the TMC the VVPATS were showing that the votes are going to the BJP.

TMC supremo at every public meeting is urging the TMC cadres to protect the EVM machines as she fears that the BJP will manipulate it. The BJP on the other side is claiming that since 2011 the TMC has manipulated the EVM machines to be in power.

Meanwhile, eight returning officers from Kolkata zone have been changed by Election Commission alleging that they are biased towards the opposition parties.

According to Election Commission sources the returning officers of Bhawanipore, Jorasanko, Chowringhee, Shyampukur, Cossipore-Belgachia, Kolkata Port, Entally and Shyampur constituencies have been changed as those officers are allegedly biased towards the opposition parties.

Addressing a press conference after the third phase of polling ended, Chief Electoral Officer Arif Aftab said that both the TMC and the BJP had complained to him over the attack on their party candidates during the poll.

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