Repolling underway at Parthampur booth in Gujarat’s Dahod Lok Sabha seat; over 26% turnout till 11 a.m.

Voting began at the booth amid tight security at 7 a.m. Representational file image.

Voting began at the booth amid tight security at 7 a.m. Representational file image.
| Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR

Repolling is underway at the Parthampura booth under Dahod Lok Sabha constituency in Gujarat on May 11 after the Election Commission declared the May 7 voting as null and void as a man had live-streamed the process from the booth.

Voting began at the booth amid tight security at 7 a.m., and a turnout of 26.72% was recorded till 11 am, which comes to 327 voters out of the total 1,224 in the booth, a statement by the Election Commission said.

Parthampur falls under Santrampur taluka of Mahisagar district and is part of the Dahod (Scheduled Tribe-reserved) Lok Sabha seat.

Prabha Taviad is the Congress candidate in the Dahod constituency. She is pitted against Bharatiya Janata Party’s incumbent MP Jasvantsinh Bhabhor.

The EC had declared as null and void the May 7 voting and ordered repolling at the Parthampur booth after man live-streaming voting from inside the booth went viral on May 7.

Four election officials, including a presiding officer, an assistant presiding officer and two polling officers as well a police constable were suspended in connection with the incident.

To avoid any unwarranted situation, police personnel were deployed in large numbers in and around Parthampur village, an official said, adding that district collector as well as district SP and poll observer are also present in the village to oversee the voting process.

The Congress had lodged a complaint with the EC about “booth capturing” and “bogus voting” by submitting a copy of the viral video, and demanded repolling.

The accused, Vijay Bhabhor, had stayed in the polling booth for five minutes, during which he went live on Instagram and also allegedly cast votes on behalf of two other electors, resorting to bogus voting, officials said.

The video showed Vijay Bhabhor purportedly focusing the camera on EVM (electronic voting machine) and VVPAT (voter verifiable paper audit trail) machine and seeking five to ten minutes from a poll official even when he is asked to leave. Bhabhor purportedly also said that “only the BJP works here”. His accomplice was also seen in the video.

“The machine belongs to my father. Only one thing works – that is BJP,” says Bhabhor before pressing a button on the EVM, as per the video. “Only Vijay Bhabhor works here,” he purportedly says. He was later held on the charge of bogus voting.

The EC later ordered that fresh polling be held at the booth on Saturday.

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