Published: 20th April 2019
Lok Sabha 2019: 19 minors from Srikakulam in AP have EPIC, 17 voted in Phase I
The inquiry report, submitted to the RO, has been forwarded to the Chief Election Commissioner for his perusal. Action will be taken once the CEC takes a decision
In a shocking incident, 17 minors, including school students, were found to have cast their votes on April 11 at Sangam village in Vangara mandal, which falls under the Rajam Assembly segment. The issue came to light after a local lodged a complaint with the district election officer (DEO) and District Collector J Nivas a few days ago. Immediately, Nivas directed the returning officer (RO) concerned to investigate the matter. Following this, a team of revenue officials conducted an investigation and submitted a preliminary report to the Collector, according to Rajam Assembly segment RO G Jayadevi.
As per the compliant, 25 minors voted on the polling day. However, the official team found that one name was repeated in the electoral list. Of the remaining 24 names, two were adults and addresses of three were missing, while the remaining were identified as minors.
Although the inquiry is underway, the team found that all 19 minors, all from Sangam, were granted Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC). After this, the revenue officials went to the village to verify records relating to their birth dates and found that 17 of them had voted on the polling day. Neither the polling officials nor the party agents raised any objection to this at the polling station. When the polling officer was questioned, he said, "We allowed them after verifying the proof they (the minors) had submitted."
The important question worrying senior officials is how could the minors get voter cards and exercise their franchise without the 'support' of issuing authorities? DEO J Nivas said that he has ordered an inquiry into the matter. "The inquiry report, submitted to the RO, has been forwarded to the Chief Election Commissioner for his perusal. Action will be taken once the CEC takes a decision."