Madurai tehsildar enters EVM centre, suspended by Election Commission
The Election Commission (EC) on Sunday suspended a government official for allegedly entering a strongroom, where Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and postal ballot papers are being kept in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai district.
Polling for Tamil Nadu’s 39 Lok Sabha seats was held in the second phase of the ongoing national elections on April 18. By-polls to 18 assembly seats in the state were held on the same day.
Sambooranam, a tehsildar, was suspended after the Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M)’s Madurai Lok Sabha candidate, Su Venkatesan, complained that she had entered the strongroom at the Madurai Medical College on Saturday.
“When we asked the district collector [R Natarajan] to arrive at the spot, he did not act quickly. He met us only by 12.30 am. Though protests were on since 11.30 pm, the collector claims that he was unaware of the incident,’’ said Venkatesan. He added Natarajan agreed that a security breach has happened only after they asked him to scrutinise CCTV footage. Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam’s candidate from Madurai, David Annadurai, also protested on the college campus around midnight. Natarajan said Sambooranam and her associates were suspended after a report was sent to chief electoral officer, Satyabrata Sahoo. TheDravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s chief, M K Stalin, referred to the security breach in Madurai and urged his party workers to monitor the strongrooms, where EVMs are being kept. “They should alert officials if anything is wrong.”