MCC polls: Residents block vehicle; allege EVM hijack

Mysuru: Tense atmosphere prevailed last night at Gandhinagar where local residents and members of different political parties claimed that Electronic Voter Machines (EVMs) that stored the votes cast for Mysuru City Corporation  (MCC) yesterday were hijacked from the Polling Booths instead of being carried into Strong Rooms.

The residents and party activists alleged that EVMs from booth numbers 299, 300, 301, and 304 from Gandhinagar Ward 28 were being transported in a Tata Sumo that was heading towards Mahadevapura. Neither did the Police accompany the vehicle, nor there were any poll officials inside the vehicle that had two EVMs.

Finding the speeding vehicle with only the driver, residents stopped it. Soon, party workers from BJP and the JD(S) rushed to the spot and a large crowd assembled. Heated arguments ensued between the party workers who blamed each other. Soon, election officials rushed to the spot and told the agitated crowd that as the roads were narrow at Gandhinagar, KSRTC buses cannot enter those areas and this was the reason for transporting the EVMs in smaller vehicles.

The election officers denied that there were any irregularities here. However, the crowd was not ready to buy this as they questioned why Polling Officials did not accompany the vehicle for which the officers had no answers.

As the situation was going out of control, City Police Commissioner Dr. A. Subramanyeswara Rao and ACP C. Gopal rushed to the spot. Protesters were demanding the presence of the Deputy Commissioner Abhiram G. Sankar who is also the District Electoral Officer.

The Police took the political party leaders who had assembled at the spot inside the polling booths and explained to them that no irregularities had taken place. Later, the vehicle was released and the EVMs were shifted in a KSRTC bus to the Teresian College De-mustering Centre.

MCC Commissioner K.H. Jagadeesha clarified that people got agitated as there were minor issues like transport. All the EVMs that were received from Polling Booths have been recorded and have been placed inside the Strong Rooms,  he added.

Cash seized

A youth in possession of Rs.3 lakh in cash and 50 silver lamps has been nabbed by V.V. Puram Police yesterday when he was allegedly trying to lure the voters with the said freebies and cash on Contour Road in Gokulam 3rd Stage here.

The accused had been identified as Yogesh.

Based on an information from the public that Yogesh was distributing the cash and lamps to woo voters, the Police arrived on the spot and took him to custody.

During interrrogation, Yogesh is said to have told that he was distributing the cash and lamps on behalf of a candidate for MCC polls from Ward 6.

Police said that more details about the candidate would be known after completing the interrogation.