02 Apr 2021: Assam: Repolling ordered after EVM found in BJP candidate's car
A day after a video allegedly showed an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) kept inside the car of Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) candidate from Patharkandi Krishnendu Paul, the Election Commission has ordered repolling in polling station 179 of Ratabari seat in Assam.
Meanwhile, the officers who were responsible for the transportation of EVMs in that area have been suspended.
Here are more details on this.
Context: Video surfaced after second polling phase concluded yesterday
The video had surfaced online after the second phase of elections concluded in the state yesterday.
It was tweeted out by Assam-based journalist Atanu Bhuyan.
"Situation tense after EVMs found in Patharkandi BJP candidate Krishnendu Paul's car," Bhuyan had written on Twitter last night.
Reportedly, Paul's electoral affidavit confirmed that his wife, Madhumita Paul, owned the said vehicle bearing registration number AS 10B 0022.
Fact: Here is the tweet by Bhuyan
Details: Priyanka Gandhi slammed the BJP over the incident
This morning, Bhuyan's tweet was shared by Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who wrote that the Election Commission must act decisively on such complaints and that a "serious re-evaluation" of the use of EVMs should be carried out by all the national parties.
"The fact is that too many such incidents are being reported and nothing is being done about them," she wrote.
Fact: You can read Vadra's tweets here
Clarification: Election Commission issues statement on the matter
In an official statement, the Election Commission has provided details on the sequence of events.
The report said, "Polling party 149 met with an incident. The party comprised a presiding officer and three polling personnel."
"At about 9:20 pm, polling party hailed a passing vehicle and boarded it along with their EVM and other things without checking ownership of the vehicle," it further read.
Statement: Mob allegedly pelted stones at the polling party
The EC added that around 10 pm, the private vehicle in which the polling party was traveling was surrounded by a mob of around 50 people who then started pelting stones at them and abusing them, not allowing the car to pass.
"When they asked the leader of the mob, he replied that it was the vehicle of Krishnendu Paul," the statement said.
Fact: EVM found sealed, without any damage: EC
The Election Commission, however, assured that the EVM involved in the incident was found to be intact with its seal and without any damage. "All the items have been deposited in the strong room," the poll body wrote in its statement.
Fact: You can read the statement issued by the EC here
Elections: Yesterday, 39 constituencies went to polls in Assam
On Thursday, April 1, a total of 39 Assembly seats went to polls in Assam in the second phase of the ongoing elections.
A voter turnout of 73.03% was reported until 6 pm.
The third and final phase of elections in the state is due to be held on April 6 for the remaining 40 constituencies.
The results will be declared on May 2.