More evidence of postal vote duplication emerging in Kerala just after the completion of Assembly polls. According to reports, Thazhava HSS teacher K Babu who voted on April 2 in Kollam received the postal ballot again. Following the incident, the Kollam District Collector has instructed the Returning Officer to look into the matter.
It is doubtful whether any other official has received a ballot in a similar way. According to the District Collector, no personal complaints have been received so far regarding the irregularities. The Collector also said that the Returning Officers have been instructed to look into the allegations made by various political parties.
A similar incident has also been reported in Parashala. An official from the Water Authority who had cast his vote at the special centre received the postal ballot again. In order to conduct postal voting, a special center was established for officials on election duty this time. Before the election, the facility was made available from April 1 to 3. Now, the officials who had engaged in election duty after April 3 are eligible to cast their postal votes. About 3.5 lakh officials were eligible for postal votes.
Meanwhile, Kerala Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala had alleged widespread irregularities in the postal ballots in various parts of the state. He even claimed that the Election Commission failed to initiate necessary action to restrict similar malpractices.
The Opposition Leader claimed that the people who exercised their franchise have been receiving the ballot via post either in their personal or official address. He said, "If they cast vote again then it will end in vote-rigging. This can sabotage the election result." The senior Congress leader has already filed a complaint with the Election Commission on this matter.