Ballot papers stolen from counting centre

Some locals have stolen as many as 47 ballot papers after gaining entry into the counting centre of Kandarada gram panchayat on Tuesday night.

The incident occurred while the counting was in progress at the Zilla Parishad High School at Kandarada village in Pithapuram mandal in East Godavari district.

They reportedly resorted to the act while the sarpanch candidate, supported by the TDP, was inching close to victory.

East Godavavri District Collector D. Muralidhar Reddy said: “In the first counting, one of the sarpanch aspirants got a majority of 12 votes. When matched with the total votes polled (2,795 votes), 47 ballot papers have been found missing as the group that gained entry was suspected to have stolen the papers. The officials had to stop the counting till Thursday.”

On Thursday, Mr. Muralidhar Reddy ordered an inquiry, during which it was found that 47 ballot papers were missing.

“The State Election Commission has been communicated about the incident. Repolling will be conducted in the panchayat on February 13,” said Mr. Muralidhar Reddy. A case was registered.

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