SRI NAGAR: While the army has launched a probe into allegations of malpractices in service votes in Ladakh, one of the contesting candidates from the Ladakh Lok Sabha seat has alleged that an Independent candidate, whom he supported in the 2014 polls, lost when the service votes were counted.
He said he has received complaints from some jawans that they are not being provided with postal ballot votes and company commanders ring them up to know their preferences.
“It was crystal clear in 2014 the Independent candidate I backed lost the Ladakh LS seat because of service votes. He was leading the BJP nominee by 300 votes,” Asgar Karbalai, a candidate for Ladakh seat, said.
He said they (the BJP) recounted the service votes and ensured victory of their candidate by 36 votes.
“They are resorting to the same tactic in this election,” he said.
In 2014 polls, Thupstan Chhewang of BJP had polled 31,111 votes, while independent candidate Ghulam Raza secured 31,075 votes, losing by just 36 seats.
Asked how he came to know that there were irregularities in the postal ballot of service votes, Karbalai said, “We have received complaint from jawans of different units that their company commanders call them on phone to know their preference. They are not sending ballot papers to the soldiers but telling them on phone whom they want to vote and tick themselves on the vote and send them in bulk to the Returning Officer.
”The Ladakh Lok Sabha seat polled on May 6.
“The ballot papers don’t reach the jawans and the company commanders themselves mark the ballot votes on behalf of jawans,” said Karbalai, who rebelled against Congress and contested as an Independent candidate.
Polling under lens
In 2014 polls, Thupstan Chhewang of BJP had polled 31,111 votes, while independent candidate Ghulam Raza got 31,075 votes, losing by 36 votes
Asgar Karbalai, an Independent who is contesting from Ladakh this time, said it was after the recounting of service votes in 2014 that BJP nominee was declared winner
The Army says it is probing claims of proxy voting