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Lok Sabha elections 2019: Noida voters complain about NaMo food packets at polling booth; administration says it’s coincidental

The polling station in Sector 15A Noida, which comes under the Gautam Buddha Nagar parliamentary constituency, is near the residence of BJP candidate and Union minister Mahesh Sharma, who is pitted against Satveer Nagar of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Congress’ Arvind Singh.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Apr 11, 2019 15:06 IST
Snehil Sinha
Snehil Sinha
Hindustan Times, Noida
Officials at the booth claimed that after starting the day early the police team had ordered early lunch around 10am from Namo Foods and that the name was merely coincidental.
Officials at the booth claimed that after starting the day early the police team had ordered early lunch around 10am from Namo Foods and that the name was merely coincidental.(Twitter)
         

Voters and residents at a polling booth in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida complained on Thursday that its staff ordered lunch packs from a restaurant called NaMo Foods, violating the model code of conduct, prompting the district administration to deny the allegations.

The polling station in Sector 15A Noida, which comes under the Gautam Buddha Nagar parliamentary constituency, is near the residence of BJP candidate and Union minister Mahesh Sharma, who is pitted against Satveer Nagar of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Congress’ Arvind Singh.

Also read: Mahesh Sharma in fray, as Gautam Buddha Nagar witnesses triangular contest

The district administration quickly got into damage control.

“There is some misinformation being spread that some policemen have been distributed food from a political party. This is absolutely wrong. At the local level, some food packets were procured from Namo Food Shop and not from any political Party,” Gautam Budh Nagar’s senior superintendent of police Vaibhav Krishna said in a statement to the media.

“Some people are spreading wrong and politically motivated rumours. And there is no official order to procure food from any particular food outlet,” Krishna said.

Officials at the booth claimed that after starting the day early the police team had ordered early lunch around 10am from Namo Foods and that the name was merely “coincidental”.

The packets reached the polling booth just before Sharma arrived to cast his vote. They were also quickly sent back or tucked away out of public notice. Within an hour, not even the discarded packets were seen at the polling station.

Namo Foods has two outlets in Sector 16 and Sector 2.

“The restaurant is an established outlet in Noida and the name is just coincidental. The polling team just decided to order from this shop. It is not a violation of the code of conduct in any way,” Gautam Budh Nagar’s district magistrate and returning officer BN Singh also said.

The Sector 15A polling centre is in the upscale colony in Noida and has several well-known residents living in the neighbourhood. This is one of the few polling centres in the city which has air conditioners and the lowest voter turnout.

Also read: BJP’s Mahesh Sharma faces anti-incumbency in GB Nagar

Gautam Budh Nagar is one of the eight parliamentary constituencies in western Uttar Pradesh which is voting the first of the seven-phase national election. Saharanpur, Kairana, Muzaffarnagar, Bijnor, Meerut, Baghpat and Ghaziabad are the others.

First Published: Apr 11, 2019 14:37 IST

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