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I caught Presiding Officer standing behind EVM machine, says Babul Supriyo


ANI Politics
Refuting the allegations that he intimidated polling officers, Union Minister Babul Supriyo has said that the Presiding Officer was stage managing the entire voting process, which he just opposed.
"The windows adjacent to electronic voting machine (EVM) were open. People from outside can actually see what is going on inside the booth. The entire set up was wrong. We had the information about all this," Supriyo told ANI.
"When I entered the booth, I caught the Presiding Officer standing right behind the EVM. He would have protested if I were wrong. I warned him that he is a government officer and so behave like that and do your duty accordingly," he said.
On Monday, the Election Commission of India (ECI) directed the state police to register an FIR against Supriyo for allegedly trespassing into the polling booth (Number 199, Kashidanga FP School under Barabani police station) and threatening the polling officers.
Union Minister Supriyo claimed the BJP agents were thrown out of the polling booth while the TMC agents were sitting inside.
"I had the permission to enter the booth with my election agent. Then we caught the Presiding Officer red-handed. Voters in large numbers were not given a chance to enter the polling booth. TMC polling agents sitting inside had thrown BJP agents out," he said.
"The Presiding Officer was behind everything which was going on. He did not complain about it to the central police," said Supriyo.
Talking about the poll violence, Supriyo said: "If I were not winning comfortably, then why Trinamool Congress would have resorted to violence in Asansol, which is a prestige fight for them. The administration and West Bengal police are more dangerous goons than the TMC workers."
The Union Minister alleged that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government is involved in hooliganism in the state.
"I received several complaints throughout the day. The candidate and his election agent are only two people who can actually enter the booth. Election agents were beaten, tortured and abused at many places. I had to catch a guy, who cast his vote twice," he said.
"What do I say? This was culture during the regime of CPM. In 2011, Mamata Banerjee comes and takes it to very low. We are asking for re-polling at many polling booths," Supriyo said.
Union Minister Supriyo has faced Trinamool Congress' Moon Moon Sen from Asansol seat, which went to polls on Monday along with seven other seats.
West Bengal, where 42 seats are at stake, has undergone four phases of Lok Sabha polls so far. The remaining three phases are scheduled for May 6, 12, and 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.

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First Published: Apr 30 2019 | 11:01 AM IST

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