The Election Commission suspended two polling officials after a sealed electronic voting machine was found lying on the road in Rajasthan’s Baran district on Friday. The poll panel suspended Abdul Rafiq and Nawal Singh Patwari with immediate effect for negligence, the Hindustan Times reported.
The voting machines were found in Shahabad area of Kishanganj constituency after polling for the Rajasthan Assembly elections ended.
District Election Officer and Collector SP Singh suspended the two officials after receiving a fact-finding report from the returning officer, Kishanganj Sub-Divisional Magistrate Firoz Akhtar, ANI reported. The Election Commission said in its order that the EVM has been shifted to a strong room in Kishanganj.
Singh said a reserve EVM had possibly slipped from the truck and fallen on the road.
Assembly elections were held in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram in November and December. Last week, reports said that EVMs reached a collection centre in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar district 48 hours after voting ended on November 28. The Congress had alleged that the EVMs were taken to a hotel owned by state Home Minister Bhupendra Singh before being brought to the centre. The Election Commission had on December 5 sacked the returning officer in the Khurai Assembly constituency, which Singh represents.
Voting was held on 199 out of 200 Assembly seats in Rajasthan on Friday, with over 72% of the electorate casting their ballot. The results will be announced on December 11. Exit polls have predicted a victory for the opposition Congress.