YC polls mired in allegations of fraud; CEO seeks probe

The CEO said his intervention came following media reports about the malpractice and also based on complaints from certain political parties.

Published: 18th November 2023 07:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th November 2023 07:55 AM   |  A+A-

ECI, Election Commission

Image used for representaional purpose. (File photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:  The Youth Congress elections in the state landed in a controversy after the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) directed the state police chief to inquire into complaints that bogus Election Commission of India (ECI) voter ID cards were used by electors as proof of identity to fraudulently exercise their franchise in the organisational polls. 

CEO Sanjay Kaul said the state police chief has been asked to inquire whether such bogus ID cards were printed and to identify the culprits. The CEO has informed the ECI of the matter and has also written to the Youth Congress inquiring whether such bogus ID cards were used in the organisational elections. An estimated 7.5 lakh people participated in the Youth Congress elections in which Rahul Mankoottathil won maximum votes and is set to become the youth outfit’s state president. 

The CEO said his intervention came following media reports about the malpractice and also based on complaints from certain political parties. BJP state president K Surendran had alleged that a faction within the Congress had committed the fraud to turn the elections in the group’s favour.

CPM state secretary M V Govindan too had called for action from the Election Commission over the alleged use of fake election ID cards.  He accused the episode of being part of “Kanugolu thesis” referring to Congress’ strategist Sunil Kanugolu. “Their primary aim is the upcoming parliament election. They could make any number of fake ID cards,” he told reporters

BJP state president K Surendran on Friday accused Congress activists of creating nearly 1.25 lakh fake ID cards and using them in the Youth Congress (YC) organisational elections. Terming it a criminal and anti-national act, Surendran alleged that it must have been carried out with the knowledge of senior Congress leaders, including K C Venugopal and V D Satheesan. He also alleged that MLA and outgoing YC state president Shafi Parambil was behind it. Demanding a comprehensive inquiry, Surendran said complaints were filed with the NIA and election commission. He also accused Congress leader Rahul Gandhi of inaction.

Responding to allegation of the use of bogus voter ID cards in the Youth Congress elections, state president-elect Rahul Mamkootathil said they welcome any kind of inquiry into the matter. “The elections were held transparently. We have no concerns about the proceedings. Anybody can lodge complaints and the Youth Congress central election committee will give an explanation,” he said on Friday.

Palakkad: Reacting to K Surendran’s charges, Palakkad MLA and outgoing Youth Congress state president Shafi Parambil alleged that the BJP state president had zero credibility and raising baseless allegations against rivals had become his forte. He said a person who accused in the transportation of unaccounted money need not teach either Congress or him about patriotism.

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