CEO warns against bogus voting

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Bangalore, May 9 (UNI) Karnataka State Chief Electoral Officer M N Vidhyashankar today strongly warned persons who indulge in bogus voting during polling.

Talking to newsmen here, he said that any attempt to cast vote through impersonation would attract criminal charges under section 171-D of the Indian Penal Code with a punishment upto one year imprisonment and fine if found guilty.

"For the first time Video cameras and Digital cameras were installed in polling booths and strict vigil would be maintained by the officials and police posted," he added.

He said that so far as many as 1828 criminal complaints relating to violation of model code of conduct have been registered against different political parties and workers.

He said that since last night the state police have registered over 39 criminal cases and seized crores of rupees worth poll materials, liquor, sarees and other consumer goods allegedly stocked for distribution to voters.

Mr Vidhyashankar said that state election authorities so far have also seized cash of Rs 21.4 crores since election code of conduct was enforced in various places. "As many as 880 cases among the total 1828 criminal complaints are related to seizure of liquor" he said.

Replying to questions, Mr Vidhyashankar said that the EC has received several complaints expressing apprehension over booth capturing, rigging and bogus voting. To thwart irregularities in the polling stations the entire process of casting of votes will be videographed and separate arrangements have been made for it, he said.

Mr Vidyashankar said that the Yelahanka police in the outskirts of the city have seized a huge quantity of liquor allegedly kept in a godown illegally. The Tumkur police have also received a complaint alleging that people were brought to the city from nighbouring Andhra Pradesh and lodged in a marriage hall in Pavagada to create trouble during polling. In a swift action the police got it vacated.

Similar complaint was also received in one of the city police station limits.

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