The Election Commission of India (ECI), on Wednesday, 23 February, directed the Pithoragarh Police to lodge a case based on a video that showed apparent ballot tampering, and was shared on social media by Congress leader and former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat.
Another case has been registered in the Didihat police station for a probe, police said. According to them, a written complaint was sent on Tuesday to the ECI and the police by Congress candidate Pradeeppal from Didihat Assembly seat.
State Congress chief Ganesh Godiyal told ANI that they had registered a complaint with the ECI about alleged foul play during the Uttarakhand Assembly elections.
“A person has claimed impersonation, officials were scheduled to come to his house to take the vote but they didn’t arrive."State Congress Chief Ganesh Godiyal to ANI
Tweets and Retweets
The video posted by Rawat on 22 Tuesday on his Facebook page as well as Twitter, showed an individual at an army centre voting on behalf of a number of people, also forging their signatures.
"Making a short #video viral for everyone's information, here's a sample of how the same person in an #army center is ticking all the #votes and even people's signature," he tweeted. Rawat tagged the ECI, and asked if they would "take cognisance of this."
Reacting to the tweet, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) Manveer Singh Chauhan claimed that it reflected the party's frustration while on the other hand, Congress leaders called it a “mockery of democracy” and urged the ECI to take cognisance of it and act against the guilty.
The leader of Opposition in the Uttarakhand Assembly Pritam Singh added, “In this video that makes a mockery of democracy, a man at an Army centre is seen ticking and signing several postal ballot papers in favour of the party of his choice.”
“The Congress is resorting to such tactics as it is aware that it has failed to mislead people. In the face of its imminent defeat the party which was talking earlier about manipulation of EVMs is now talking about ballot papers. It shows the party’s frustration.”BJP media in-charge Manveer Singh Chauhan said.
The polling for the 70-member Uttarakhand Assembly took place on 14 February, while the counting of votes will happen on 10 March.
(With inputs from ANI and PTI.)