RDS_190513 Polling rigged in India-1557729351430
Screengrab of the video taken in a polling station in Faridabad, Haryana. Image Credit: Twitter

Dubai: After a video went viral of a polling agent walking up to a booth and influencing voters, the Election Commissioner of India (ECI) tweeted that the man had been arrested and a First Information Report (FIR) lodged.

Twitter user @arvindgunasekar tweeted the viral video to handles related to the Election Commission of India, which oversees the voting process, and asked: “Poll rigging in Haryana too?”

Whether the man pressed one of the buttons or simply pointed towards them is unclear. However, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa responded: “DEO [District Election Officer] Faridabad reported that the observer, Sanjay Kumar, investigated the entire matter. The person in the video is the polling agent who has been arrested in the afternoon itself. FIR is lodged. Report of observer will be examined by ECI.”

As other Twitter users shared their concerns regarding the process not being fair, Lavasa assured social media users that “action will be taken against those found wanting in their duty” and “the scrutiny of this polling station will be comprehensive”.

Many users, however, found it odd that investigation was conducted only against the man in the video and not the other officers who took no action to stop him.

Tweep @sanjg2k1 wrote: “Inexplicable as to how the Presiding Officer and Polling Officer on Control Unit (latter could clearly see the whole thing two times at least) didn’t stop this Polling Agent. These guys also need to be arrested.”

Tweep @kumarmeip87 added that the issue of the compromised votes needed to be addressed: “So, the guy is arrested, what about the proxy votes he has done now, let it be one or two? It is the democratic power of a citizen.”

Not influenced?

When the city’s district election office @OfficeFaridabad tweeted a statement saying the observer had investigated the matter and was satisfied that “polling was never vitiated”, many social media users questioned the conclusion.

Tweep @anuragdhanda wrote: “‘Polling was never vitiated’ I mean, seriously? What action was taken against polling station in-charge and staff sitting right in front and letting this happen without objection? What action against security in-charge, who allowed mobiles despite clear instructions of NO MOBILE?”

Tweep @Anti_Bhakti recommended that the best solution for such unethical activities was to keep agents out of polling stations, tweeting: “Polling Agents should not be allowed entry in the Polling Station except when asked by polling staff. Polling agents should be made to sit out out of polling station room.”