Amaravati: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has cracked the whip on ten polling officials in Andhra Pradesh for dereliction of duty on April 11 in Chandragiri constituency in Chittoor district. The ECI had taken this decision against the officials for their half-hearted and careless behaviour on the day of polling, for which re-polling had to be conducted in five places in Chandragiri.

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It has decided to immediately suspend the Presiding Officers (PO), Assistant Presiding Officers (APO) Returning Officers and take departmental action against them. State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Gopal Krishna Dwivedi has given directions to the Chittoor District Collector PS Pradyumna to take action against the officers on Monday. He also directed that charges (FIR) should be framed against the private individuals who were present in the five polling centres on that day and submit the details to him.

The ECI had detailed the reasons as to why it was taking action against the polling officials who were on duty in the five polling stations in Chandragiri.

S R Kammalli (321): Several private individuals were seen in the polling booth in a bid to assist voters. They were also seen close to the voting compartment, which was against Election rules.

-There were several of these people moving freely without proper identification cards.

-Some of them were seen casting the vote of citizens in a bid to help them vote.

-In another instance though the voters were not present, these private individuals cast their votes.

-Cell phones were used in the polling booths.

-When the polling officials objected to this the polling agents and private individuals argued and threatened them also.

Kammalli (318): In this booth one person was seen casting votes of all the voters enumerated in the list. The arrival of a contesting candidate Dr Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy at the booth led to a minor skirmish.

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Pulivarthipalli (104) : In the afternoon at around 2.24 pm, two private individuals were seen casting the votes of other individuals in two voting compartments till the end of the day.

Kothakandriga( 316): In this booth individuals posing as polling agents were seen walking into the voting compartment and casting votes on their behalf. This continued until the end of the polling session. There were also instances of disputes between the polling agents and private individuals.

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