Guwahati: In what has certainly come as serious embarrassment for Assam’s ex-Director General of Police Harekrishna Deka, the district election officer of Kamrup metropolitan district in its investigation has found his allegation of mismatch in the VVPAT as false and baseless.
The DEO in its report stated that other than Mr Deka, no other voter in the polling station complained about malfunctioning of the EVM or the VVPAT.
Mr Deka, who is also in the forefront of civil society movements in the state, had complained that there was discrepancy in the vote cast in the ballot unit and the slip in the VVPAT. Mr Deka then had said that he was told that if he lodged a complaint and it turned out to be false, he could face six months’ jail.
Justifying the statement of the presiding officer, the DEO in its report said that the presiding officer of that particular polling station “rightfully requested Mr Deka to go for a test vote under the provisions of Rule 49 MA of Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 and also read out the Provisions under of Rule 49 MA of Conduct of Election Rules, 1961.”
“In this regard, the complainant (Mr Deka) refused to sign the declaration under Rule 49 MA Conduct of Election Rules, 1961 and hence he was not allowed to go for the test vote,” the DEO stated.
The DEO further stated in his report an enquiry into the matter through the constituency magistrate of Guwahati East Lok Sabha constituency “found out that there is no truth in the allegations made against the EVM and VVPAT used in Lachit Nagar LP School polling station (where Mr Deka had cast his vote) in Guwahati of being faulty.”
He stated that the sector and the zonal officers of that polling station visited and verified with the public the proper and accurate functioning of the EVM and VVPAT used in the actual polling process. “It may be added that mock poll was conducted in the presence of the agents of the candidates as per the ECI guidelines and there were no complaints received in this regard,” the report states.
Mr Deka’s allegation was reported in the media on April 23 following which the DEO conducted the enquiry on the same day. The report asserted, “It can be concluded that the allegations is baseless and without any truth in it.”