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Prez polls: Chautala 'checked pen' before casting vote

Press Trust of India  |  Chandigarh 

As he emerged after voting in the presidential today, Leader of Opposition and senior INLD leader Abhay Chautala said that he had "thoroughly checked" the pen before casting his vote.

He was apparently taking a dig while referring to a controversy that had erupted earlier during elections.

An "ink controversy" had erupted last year during polls after the votes of 12 MLAs of the and allies were declared invalid for marking their preferences with a pen other than the one officially supplied, prompting the and the INLD to allege foul play.

The BJP-supported independent candidate had defeated the and INLD-backed in the biennial to Council of States from Haryana, held in June last year.

"I checked the pen thoroughly and even asked the person who gave me the pen (during voting today to verify) that it was the same pen or some other pen," Chautala told reporters here today.

However, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that there was no possibility of any "pen controversy" occurring this time and said the Commission had made necessary arrangements in this regard.

In the wake of ink controversy in polls last year, the EC had decided to use special pens for the electors to mark their votes in the presidential and vice presidential polls.

Specially serial-numbered pens with violet ink were supplied by the to ensure that only the writing instrument issued by it was used by voters to mark their votes.

MPs and MLAs who vote to elect the next president were barred from carrying their personal pens inside the voting chamber and would have to mark their ballot with a specially- designed marker.

Khattar said that, "Very good arrangements had been made (by the Election Commission) this time. There is no possibility of any pen controversy occurring this time".

"Pen was made available by the EC and the concerned officials gave pen and ballot paper (to the electors). After a member casts his vote, pen is taken back by the concerned official. Then the next voter comes and he is given the pen and ballot paper. Therefore, there cannot be any pen controversy," he said.

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

First Published: Mon, July 17 2017. 22:23 IST