Vikash Sharma

BJP’s MLA candidate Arindam Roy on Saturday levelled booth capturing allegations against BJD at a booth at Lunahar in Salepur Assembly constituency. This came after high drama folded near booth number 228 when the actor-turned-politician had gone to oversee the polling.

Two groups were subsequently engaged in a heated argument over the matter.

“I had got reports of EVM glitches and when I came to booth number 228, I saw that there were eight to 10 youths inside and they were taking elderly voters and casting their votes. I objected, as it is booth capturing as the persons were casting votes on behalf of others. Later, BJD activists came to the spot and created ruckus at the spot,” alleged Roy.

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According to Roy, he would bring the matter to the notice of ADM, SDPO and demand appropriate action. “The election should be conducted in a peaceful manner. The way BJD goondas are guarding the gate and the booth, a special arrangement should be made to check this. I have already given complaints regarding similar incidents at six more booths,” Roy added.

No comments could be obtained from the concerned officials or BJD over the allegations levelled by the BJP candidate.

Senior journalist Prasanna Mohanty said, “Arindam Roy is active and has exposed irregularities at the booths. ECI is speaking of zero tolerance and there was some restriction during past elections, it seems that irregularities have cropped up in the last leg of polls. No other person can cast vote on his/her behalf. It appears that malpractice or rigging attempts are being made there. Hence, it has become essential to address such grievances and re-polling should be ordered if there is electoral malpractice as even one vote can be a decider.”

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