Vikash Sharma

Chilika MLA Prashant Jagdev has been arrested on the charges of toppling an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) during the third phase of polling held in Odisha on Saturday. However, scores of villagers of Kaunripatana under Bolagarh block in Khordha district claimed that the allegations levelled against the MLA were politically-motivated.  

According to some voters who witnessed the situation, the presiding officer at the booth misbehaved with several voters and did the same with the MLA. The arrest of Jagdev has spread outrage in the area as locals expressed resentment and termed it a conspiracy by the ruling party.

Earlier on Saturday, the MLA had gone to a booth to cast his vote along with his wife when it was alleged that he toppled the EVM. Based on the complaint filed by the presiding officer, Police detained Jagdev from Begunia from where he was taken to the reserve police camp.

Meanwhile, the legislator has been sent to judicial custody after the conduct of a medical examination.

Earlier, MLA Prashant Jagadev had staged a demonstration at Bolagarh Police station demanding an inspection of CCTV camera footage of the Kaunripatna booth.

The BJD had approached the Chief Electoral Officer over the EVM toppling row.

While briefing journalists about the arrest of the MLA, Khordha SP Abinash Kumar said, ”The presiding officer of the booth no-114 of Kaunripatana in Begunia made a complaint that MLA Prashant Jagdev entered the booth where he created disturbance and damaged the EVM box. The MLA was also accused of disrupting the polling process and abusing the presiding officer. A case has been registered in this regard.”

“We will apply to the district officer for the CCTV footage of the booth. The CCTV footage will be examined,” he added.

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