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Goa polls: Officials wary as postal ballots not yet returned

Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

With only one-sixth of the postal ballots for Assembly polls being returned by voters so far, the state office has warned political parties to refrain from pressuring or bribing servants to cast vote in their favour.

Goa's Additional Narayan Navati, in a press note issued yesterday, said, "Allegations are made by several people, including representatives of political parties and candidates, that servants who have been issued postal ballot papers have been pressurised by some of the candidates to cast vote in their favour."

He also said that strict action would be taken against those found guilty in this connection.

The office has also publicised its helpline and email address asking people to bring such instances to their notice as they want to protect the secrecy of voting.

Total 17,500 postal ballots were dispatched to various servants engaged in duty and voters from who are serving in para-military forces outside the state.

"The Chief Electoral Office at has received only 3,300 postal ballots, which makes for hardly one-sixth of the total chunk," a senior election official said.

The election officials are wary as the rate of postal ballots being returned to their office is not picking up, though the polling was held on February 4 for the 40-member state Legislative Assembly.

"The had convened a special meeting on February 15 cautioning the representatives of political parties about the rumours that candidates are approaching the holders of postal ballots and bribing such officials for casting postal ballots in their favour, undermining secrecy and purity of voting," Navati said.

"The representatives of political parties were instructed to bring such instances to the notice of the chief electoral office. It was emphasised that giving and taking bribe is punishable," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, February 17 2017. 16:42 IST