Teen arrested for multiple voting, repolling ordered

A teenager was arrested in Etah district, Uttar Pradesh, on Sunday after a video of him casting multiple votes went viral on social media. The video, which shows the boy voting eight times in favor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at a polling booth in the Farrukhabad parliamentary constituency, was widely shared by political figures including Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi.

| Updated: 20 May, 2024 12:04 pm IST

NEW DELHI :A teenager was arrested in Etah district, Uttar Pradesh, on Sunday after a video of him casting multiple votes went viral on social media. The video, which shows the boy voting eight times in favor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at a polling booth in the Farrukhabad parliamentary constituency, was widely shared by political figures including Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress MP Rahul Gandhi.

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Polling in Farrukhabad took place on May 13. The boy was identified as the son of Anil Singh Thakur, the gram pradhan of Khiriya Pamaran village in Etah district. The video, reportedly from an Etah village, was uploaded by Akhilesh Yadav at 4:05 PM on his official handle. He captioned it, “If the Election Commission feels that this is wrong then it must take some action, otherwise BJP’s booth committee is actually a loot committee (sic).”

Rahul Gandhi also posted on X, formerly Twitter, stating, “Seeing its defeat, BJP wants to loot democracy by pressuring the government machinery to deny the mandate. Congress expects from all the officers performing election duty that they should not forget their constitutional responsibility under the pressure of power. Otherwise, as soon as the Indian government is formed, such action will be taken that anyone will think 10 times before insulting the ‘Oath of the Constitution’.”

Following these revelations, Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer Navdeep Rinwa announced that an FIR had been registered. The case includes charges under IPC Section 171F (offense related to election), IPC Section 419 (cheating by personation), and Sections 128, 132, and 136 of the Representation of the People Act, which address election fraud and maintaining voting secrecy.

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Rinwa stated, “Instructions to suspend and institute disciplinary proceedings against all members of the polling party have been issued. Repolling has been recommended to the Election Commission of India at the concerned polling station.” He also emphasized that strict instructions to rigorously follow proper voter identification procedures have been issued to all District Election Officers for the remaining phases of the elections.

This incident has heightened political tensions, with opposition leaders accusing the BJP of election fraud. The arrest and subsequent measures underscore the need for vigilance and adherence to electoral laws to maintain the integrity of India’s democratic process.

So far, voting has been completed for 379 seats across 23 states and union territories. The fifth phase of elections is being conducted today, covering 49 seats in eight states and union territories, including Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal

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