An Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and four VVPATs were found at a Trinamool Congress leader's residence in Uluberia Uttar of Howrah district in West Bengal where polling is underway in the third phase, covering 31 seats. According to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers, the machine was found at TMC leader Gautam Ghosh's residence in Tulsiberia.
The saffron party workers created ruckus and protested against the TMC at a polling booth here. They also raised slogans against the ruling party and demanded action against Gautam.
Chiran Bera, BJP candidate from Uluberia Uttar, accused the TMC of electoral interference and demanded stern action those trying to disrupt the democratic exercise.
When locals learned about the development, they gheraoed the Sector Officer. Security personnel present at the polling booth resorted to lathicharge to disperse the crowd.
The Sector Office said that he was unaware how the machine was moved out from the polling booth. He told India TV, "Assistant sector officer Ranjeet Majumdar was not present at the polling booth when the incident took place. Machine was probably taken out when security personnel were asleep."
Meanwhile, the Election Commission has suspended three officials. DM and District Election Officer, Howrah, said that Assistant Sector Officers of Sec 17, 177-Uluberia North Assembly Constituency, Tapan Kumar Sarkar, Sanjib Majumdar, Mithun Chakraborty suspended for gross violation of ECI guidelines by taking reserve EVMs to their relatives' house.
The poll body said that it was a reserved EVM which has been removed from the election process.
Uluberia Uttar is an assembly constituency in Howrah district. The seat is reserved for SC. Voting for 31 assembly seats in West Bengal is currently underway in the third phase.