The police arrested a BJP assembly candidate on the charge of destroying an EVM in a polling booth in Odisha’s Ganjam district during the second phase of elections on Thursday.
BJP candidate for Sorada assembly seat, Nilamani Bisoi, along with his supporters allegedly entered a booth at Renti village under Sorada police station limits, destroyed the EVM and prevented polling officials from discharging their duty, the police said on Friday.
Lok Sabha and assembly elections are being held simultaneously in the state.
The incident occurred about one hour before the end of voting time and till then, 414 out of 539 voters of the booth had exercised their franchise, police said.
Mr Bisoi was arrested following complaints received from the presiding officer of the booth PK Jena, Aska sub-divisional Police Officer Suryamani Pradhan, said.
“The EVM was totally smashed. We have forwarded the report of the presiding officer of the booth to the chief electoral officer,” said collector-cum-District Election Officer Vijay Amruta Kulange.
The Election Commission would take the final call on re-poll in the booth, he said.
The candidate’s brother Basant Kumar Bisoi, however, claimed that the EVM was destroyed by ruling BJD workers and not Nilmani.
Nilmani had also lodged a complaint in this regard but his FIR was not registered, Basant said.
He claimed that Nilmani went to the booth after coming to know that BJD activists were trying to rig the polls and after he entered the booth, the BJD men destroyed the EVM.
Sorada police station inspector-in-charge Pravat Sahoo said Nilamani”s complaint was not registered as the police did not find any circumstantial evidence on his complaint.
BJD candidate Purna Chandra Swain denied that party workers destroyed the EVM.
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