A polling agent was arrested from the city of Faridabad in Haryana after a video of him allegedly trying to influence voters during the sixth phase of the Lok Sabha elections went viral on social media.
In the video, a man in a blue t-shirt can be seen walking towards the voting area, where a woman is preparing to cast her vote. The man then presses the button or points towards a specific party symbol before the woman could exercise her vote. He repeats the same with two other women.
The incident took place at a polling booth in Prithla assembly constituency of Asawati village as Faridabad went on polls on Sunday, May 12. The Election Commissioner of India, Ashok Lavasa has confirmed that the polling agent was arrested on Sunday afternoon and an FIR has been filed against him.
The District Election Office (DEO) of Faridabad tweeted from their official handle saying, "The person in the video is the polling agent who has been arrested in the afternoon itself. FIR lodged. He was trying to effect at least 3 lady voters. Observer & ARO with teams visited the booth at Asawati in Prithala constituency. He is satisfied that voting was never vitiated."
The district DEO said that the matter was taken very seriously by the district administration. The Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) Bharat Bhushan Gogia HCS rushed to the spot and he was soon joined by the observer SH Sanjay Kumar who investigated the entire matter.
Even after the Election Commission admitted that the man was trying to influence voters, it said that the polling process was not violated in the booth. However, this has raised many questions to the election body's claim that the voting process was not vitiated.
ECI Ashok Lavasa responded to this citing that the agent influenced only three voters, "The scrutiny of this polling station will be comprehensive," he said. He also said that a report on the issue will be examined by the Election Commission to take further actions against the violator.
However, the arrested polling agent's political party has not yet been made known by the authorities.