Kerala polling officer files comlaint against CPI-M MLA for threatening him during local body polls

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Kasaragod (Ker) Jan 9 (PTI) The State Election Commission has sought a report from the Kasaragod district collector on a complaint filed by a polling officer alleging that a CPI(M) legislator from the district had threatened him during the local body polls held last month.

A polling officer on duty at the GLP school in nearby East Chekapara has complained to the State Election Commission (SEC) recently that the Uduma MLA K Kunhiraman had threatened him, for verifying credentials of voters.

'We have sought a report in the incident from the District Election officer (District Collector) and from the returningofficer of the panchayat.Based on the report, we will take necessary action,' State Election Commissioner V Bhaskaran told PTI.

K M Sreekumar, Professor, Agricultural Entomology, Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) in nearby Peelicode, was on election duty as the presiding officer at the polling station.

Sreekumar accused the MLA of silencing him when he raised a dispute over bogus voting during the third phase of the local body polls on December 14.

'Let the first polling officer verify and you keep mum.If you don't listen to what we say, your legs will be chopped off,' the complaint, quoting the MLA's alleged remarks, said.

Sreekumar, a leftist and also the president of the Peelicode unit of the Teacher's Organisation of Kerala Agricultural University, has also claimed there were only CPI-M agents at the booth, facilitating unquestioned bogus voting.

The incident came to light when Sreekumar posted about the incident on Facebook.

Senior officials from the election commission said the polling officer was supposed to report incidents of bogus voting or threats, to the police and the returning officer concerned the same day or the next day.

The CPI-M block panchayat candidate first intervened and demanded that he desist from the formality of identifying the voter and later the MLA asserted the demand, the complainant alleged.

'The MLA threatened me when we continued with formalities as the same voters who cast their votes earlier returned to cast bogus votes,' Sreekumar alleged.

However, the MLA has denied the charges and said he intervened when the officer tried to refuse the right to vote for a voter.

Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala said a criminal case should be registered against the MLA for threatening a poll officer.

'A criminal case should be registered against the MLA for threatening the poll officer who tried to stop the bogus voting,' Chennithala said.

Polling,held in three phases, was completed on December 14 and the results were out on December 16 in which the Left parties got a comfortable victory. PTI CORR RRT BN WELCOME BN WELCOME