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Gujarat poll: Cong complains of booth capturing, bogus voting

December 01, 2022 21:58 IST

The opposition Congress on Thursday submitted six different complaints, one of them related to "booth capturing" in Surendranagar district, to election authorities after the first phase of voting on 89 assembly seats ended in Gujarat.

IMAGE: EVMs and other election equipment in Surat. Photograph: PTI Photo

In one of the complaints, the Congress alleged a polling booth situated in Samla village falling under the Limbdi assembly seat of Surendranagar district was captured by some anti-social elements.

However, Surendranagar collector KC Sampat, who is also the district election officer, said a probe revealed no such incident took place and the booth in question was being monitored at the district level through a live webcast.


Other complaints included bogus voting by anti-social elements on some booths in Botad district, deliberately slowing down polling process by officials in Jamnagar and authorities allowing party symbols inside a booth in the Palsana area of Surat city.

A complaint was also submitted to the office of the Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer about television channels running interviews of voters coming out of booths, which could influence people who will exercise their franchise in seats going to polls on December 5 in the second phase, said Gujarat Congress spokesperson Hiren Banker.

"The Congress has also complained that live telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rallies (organised by BJP as part of campaigning for 2nd phase) in different parts of Gujarat also violated the Model Code of Conduct because voting was going when the rallies were being aired," said Banker.

Additional CEO of Gujarat Kuldeep Arya, however, clarified that telecast of the PM's rallies organised in other parts of the state (not covered by the first phase polling) as well as airing of interviews of voters do not violate any rule.

"As per rule, one can hold rallies where silence period is not in force. We can not stop TV broadcast at selected places. Election Commission (EC) guidelines are very clear about it. Interviews by voters after polling is also allowed. They are not considered opinion polls," said Arya.

The second phase of voting on December 5 will cover the remaining 93 seats in the 182-member assembly and counting of ballots will place on December 8.

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