Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], December 15 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members led by former Thiruvanathapuram district presidentS Suresh on Tuesday approached the State Election Commission office demanding that the special ballot vote introduced for COVID-19 patients and those in quarantine in local body polls in Kerala should not be counted.
Alleging that the whole process of special ballot voting lacked transparency, BJP in the complaint to Election Commission said that "there have been violations of norms set by the Election Commission on the special postal ballot".
Special ballot votes were introduced by the Election Commission for COVID-19 patents and those in quarantine. The polling officers collected such votes from the houses of those in the certified list. Those who are included in the certified list were allowed postal ballot only, even if they test negative for COVID-19 or complete quarantine period. These votes will be counted along with the postal votes, Election Commission has said.
While talking to ANI, BJP leader S Suresh said, "There have been serious lapses in the appointment of special polling officials. Wide misuse has been carried by the Left parties. Also, manipulation was carried out regarding signatures of gazetted officers who have to attest to the special ballot papers. BJP has demanded EC that special postal ballot should not be counted and it should consider only as tendered votes."
BJP leader said that according to the norms of the Election Commission, candidates must be informed regarding the number of postal votes in the award.
"But it was not carried out and BJP candidates were kept in the dark. Fearing defeat, CPI(M) has carried out such malpractice to influence election results," he added.
The counting of votes of three-phased local body polls will be held in three phases in Kerala is on Wednesday.
78.64 per cent voter turnout was recorded in the third and the final phase of the local body polls held in four districts of Kerala on Monday, according to the State Election Commission (SEC).
Kerala recorded 76.38 per cent voter turnout in the 2nd phase of local body elections held in five districts on December 10. In the first phase of Kerala local body polls held in five districts, a 72.67 per cent voter turnout was recorded on December 8. (ANI)