The Election Commission has directed Gopalganj district magistrate Arshad Aziz to make available the CCTV footage of the Bhore assembly constituency counting centre that corresponded to the counting day.
The direction came following CPI-ML’s serious allegations that Gopalganj MP Alok Kumar Suman had entered the counting centres on the day of counting. The CPI-ML also made a written complaint on November 10 to the office of the chief electoral office (CEO), Bihar.
“JD-U MP Alok Kumar Suman entered the counting hall in violation of clause 16.9 of the candidates’ handbook which specifies who is allowed to enter the hall. This violation is also ground for a recount of total votes in the constituency,” said the CPI-ML representation.
Though Suman refuted the allegations, the EC took cognizance of the complaint and asked for clippings of the CCTV footage of the counting day along with a detailed report from the DM by Thursday.
“Kindly make available a detailed report along with a video clipping, as directed,” said the letter from additional CEO Balamurugan to the DM. Aziz said that he had not submitted the report so far. “But we will do it soon. Whatever decision the EC takes will be followed,” he added.
In a closely fought assembly election between the NDA and the GA, which gave the former a razor thin majority, allegations have been flying high since the counting day, with the RJD, Congress as well as the CPI-ML alleging foul play in counting on seats where the margin of victory has been very small.
“The mandate favored Mahagathbandhan, but the Election Commission’s result was in NDA’s favour. This hasn’t happened for the first time. In 2015, when Mahagathbandhan was formed, votes were in our favour but BJP made a back-door entry to gain power,” Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said, adding that the established rules of counting postal ballots first before Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) can be counted was also not followed and not all postal ballots could be counted.
In the election for the Bhore seat, JD (U) candidate Sunil Kumar won, defeating CPI (ML) candidate Jitendra Paswan. The victory margin was a mere 462 votes.
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