Mock poll at Kozhikode collectorate ahead of Wayanad byelection

Kozhikode collectorate
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Kozhikode: A mock poll was held at the Kozhikode collectorate on Wednesday to check the preparedness of VVPAT machines ahead of the Wayanad byelection.

The Wayanad Lok Sabha seat fell vacant as Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as a member of parliament after a Gujarat court convicted the former party president in a criminal defamation case.

The mock poll was held for the 170 booths of the Thiruvambady assembly segment, which is part of the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency. The district election authority had sent letters to 10 political parties regarding the mock poll and one representative of each of the parties was present when the machines were checked.

In all, 274 machines were checked for their preparedness. Authorities said similar mock polls would be held at the collectorate for assembly constituencies in Wayanad on Saturday.

The mock polls are being held under the supervision of district administrative wing, led by the Deputy collector, with the technical support of BEL representatives. Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) is supplying the VVPAT machines for the elections.

The collector is the chief electoral officer in the district.

Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi's MP office in Wayanad was completely shut by Wednesday as the remaining staff at the office was called back by the state government. 

UDF leaders present at the mock poll have questioned the decision to hold a mock poll now. "The Gujarat High Court will hear Rahul Gandhi's appeal against the disqualification on June 11. The Election Commission has not issued any notification regarding the dates for the election. Then why is the district administration holding a mock poll in a hurry?" said Majeed Puthukkudi, Vice President of IUML Thiruvambadi Mandalam Committee.

'The rush to make arrangements before a final verdict on the issue is a mystery,' Bineesh Kumar PV, Kozhikode DCC general secretary told Onmanorama.

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