A TRS leader had to pay a heavy price for his audacious attempt of allegedly entering into an EVM strong room without authorisation and clicking pictures.
N Venkatesh, a local TRS leader and husband of Keesara Sarpanch Madhuri was arrested by Telangana police on Saturday after the pictures he clicked inside the strongroom went viral on social media. The accused is also the poll agent of TRS Malkajgiri’s candidate, Marri Rajasekhar Reddy.
The photo of N Venkatesh along with Medchal MLA and sitting Telangana Minister Malla Reddy also did the rounds. Marri Rajasekhar is Malla Reddy’s son-in-law.
According to the Circle Inspector Narender Goud, “The accused entered the strong room while the EVMs used in the polls were being kept and the room sealed in Bogaram area. The accused was attending as the poll agent of TRS Lok Sabha candidate from Malkajgiri constituency.”
While the police personnel and officials of the Election Commission can document the process of EVMs being stored and sealed inside the strong room, polling agents are only allowed to oversee the process on behalf of their respective political parties.
As the picture did the rounds and the Congress party, which has a special fondness of obsessing over the ‘EVM hacked theory’, cried foul, Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) CEO SVR Chandra Sekhar, who is the Assistant Returning Officer of the constituency, filed a complaint with the Keesara police.
The police booked a case against Venkatesh, who was later presented before a local court and remanded to judicial custody.
Amusingly, though this time it was the Congress which cried foul, earlier in December 2018 during Madhya Pradesh assembly elections, a vehicle with Congress sticker was reportedly slammed into a strongroom and the youths, who were later arrested, demanded immediate counting of votes.
According to the reports then, all the accused were intoxicated and during the police interrogation, they confessed that they wanted to check the EVM strongroom. The police had registered a case for trespassing, violating the model code of conduct and other relevant sections were registered against the accused after the report of the returning officer and SDM Satna CS Tripathi.
Meanwhile, Telangana recorded 62.69 per cent in the April 11 polling across 17 Lok Sabha constituencies. Khammam recorded the highest percentage at 75.28, while Hyderabad, registered 44.75 per cent, an official release said on Friday.