3 election officers die of cardiac arrest during MP Polls; Could there be a conspiracy?

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Amid tight security, Madhya Pradesh underwent voting for a new assembly on 28th November. It can be anyone’s game with the dying popularity and incumbency of the current Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan government.

The voting took place at 65,341 polling booths, which were set up for the single-phase elections to 230 seats of the State Assembly. As many as 2,000 booths were entirely operated by women staff. Special arrangements were made for visually impaired people to help them cast their votes.

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However, a series of back to back deaths were reported within the first two hours of voting in MP. One Election Commission official in Guna and two in Indore died of cardiac arrest at their respective polling booths. As per reports, all three died of sudden cardiac arrest. Madhya Pradesh Chief Election Officer (CEO) VL Kantha Rao announced a compensation of Rs. 10 lakh each to be given to the kin of the deceased, while additional help will be given through Red Cross society.

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There were several reports of nearly 70 EVMs not functioning properly in the early hours of voting, which were replaced later and the same was also confirmed by the CEO. Further, Rao also added that there were almost 30 cases registered against those who were caught distributing liquor and money in the poll-bound state, thereby violating the EC norms.

A total of 5,04,95,251 voters including 2,41,30, 90 females and 1,389 third-genders were supposed to cast their votes to decide the fortune of as many as 2,907 candidates, who are in the fray. The State Election Commission had made elaborate security arrangements to ensure that polling takes place in a free and fair manner.

Citing over 100 complaints received just within the first hour of polling, Congress state unit chief Kamal Nath requested the poll panel to replace all faulty EVMs and VVPAT machines with immediate effect. He said,

“There is a large number of EVM machines not working properly, we have information from across the state… This is affecting voting. 

“There are long queues outside the polling stations… Why such big glitches? The Election Commission must urgently take steps,” the Congress leader tweeted.

Another senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who cast his vote in Gwalior also tweeted,

“There have been reports of the faulty EVMs from across the state. In democracy, vote is the voice of the people — it is worrying that an effort is being made to suppress it. 

“I request the Election Commission to immediately take notice of this and ensure that the polling takes place in a fair manner without any hurdles.” 

Infact he even issued an official letter to the EC immediately, requesting them to secure the democratic process of voting.

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The result of the poll will be declared on 11th December. With all the news of EVMs and VVPAT malfunctioning, could there be more to the story of three election officers dying back to back in first two hours of polling?

Were these deaths natural or could there be some conspiracy in stalling a smooth polling process.

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