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Trivandrum:

Just two days after the Lok Sabha polls, politics is also getting hot in Kerala over the bogus voting issue. A video released by a news channel, in which some people casting their votes multiple times in Kannur district of Kasargod Lok Sabha constituency, is getting tight controversial in the state.

On the issue, the Congress is accusing LDF, which is the ruling party over the bogus voting caught in the CCTV camera in the polling booth. Meanwhile, CPI(M) rejected all the allegations lifted by the opposition party. The seat, along with 19 other parliamentary constituencies, went to polls in the third phase of Lok Sabha elections on April 23.

The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of the state has sought a report from officers in Kasargod and Kannur districts and collectors over claims of bogus voting at various polling booths in the Kasargod Lok Sabha constituency. “We have got complaints from certain places. The Election Commission will take further action in this regard. We are waiting for the report and will examine all such complaints,” Kerala Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena told reporters in Trivandrum.

Congress Leader Ramesh Chennithala lashed out at the ruling LDF alleging that the CPI(M) has resorted to bogus voting, fearing defeat in elections. He said the Left was trying to manipulate the public mandate and the Congress would initiate legal proceedings against the bogus voting.

“From video evidence, it could be seen that the Left has cast around 5,000 bogus votes in Kasargod constituency. We will take appropriate legal steps. We have warned the poll officials of such unlawful practices much before the polling day, but the authorities failed to take any action”, Chennithala said.

According to the disclosure of the Mathrubhumi TV, those engaged in electoral malpractices in booth number 19 are allegedly CPI(M) workers. The footage shows a woman in sari casting her vote twice in the polling booth. She has been identified by the channel as on Padmini, who is 774 serial number voter in the booth. It also shows a young lady wearing a blue shawl, whom the channel identifies as a member in the Cheruthazham panchayat, Kannur district, and serial number 213 voter in booth number 50 in Cheruthazham panchayat, casting vote. The footage obtained from webcasting stream also shows another lady wearing white shawl whom the channel identifies as a voter in booth number 24.

However, the CPI(M) has denied the allegations, and has claimed instead that the videos show ‘open votes’. The Congress meanwhile has decided to approach the Kerala High Court with the CCTV visuals and the webcast live visuals as evidence, according to reports.

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