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DEAD MEN, ABSENTEE RESIDENTS: TALE OF GHOST VOTING IN FIRST PHASE OF WEST BENGAL POLLS

howra bridgeKolkata: Calcutta Telegraph reports that the claimed high voter turnout in the first phase of Bengal elections might be a result electoral frauds like voter impersonation. The Telegraph particularly focused on a booth in the Binpur constituency of West Midnapur District (Booth no.18-Laljol Primary School) where a 100 per cent voter turnout had been reported. According the reports, one dead man and at least three absent residents of Laljoli village managed to cast their votes on the first day of West Bengal Polls 2016.

Borsha Mahato, who had died of a heart attack three months back  found to have’ casted his vote’ in the polls on April 4th. Another three people Gayatri Mahato, Arjun Mahato and Sashadhar Mahato also exercised ‘their franchise’ though they were not in the village. Among them Arjun Mahato who left the village a couple of years ago is now working as a driver in Goa. Gayatri Mahato was at her sister’s house in Purulia (which is about 80kms away from the location) could not come to the village for polling due to lack transportation facilities. Sashadhar who is working in North 24 Paraganas (which is about 240kms away) was also not present.

According to the reports there was an abnormal hike of up to 3.09% in the final voter turnout compared to the provisional figures released at 6:30pm in some constituencies like Binpur where the polling had ended at 4pm.This also vindicates the possibility of false voting.

Despite the election norms which says EC should examine the booths with more than 90 per cent, for possible malpractice, no such actions have been taken yet. First Phase(b) of West Bengal polls will be conducted on Monday in 31 assembly constituencies.

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