K. Sudhakaran, MP, has urged the Election Commission (EC) to appoint Central government officers as polling officials for the byelection in the Kannur Assembly constituency.

Mr. Sudhakaran, election agent for Congress candidate A.P.Abdullakutty, in a representation to the EC on Wednesday said that majority of officers selected as polling officials for the election were active workers of the pro-Communist Party of India (Marxist) Kerala NGO Union and the Kerala State Teachers' Association. Alleging that the polling officials were selected in a partisan manner with a malafide intention to facilitate malpractices such as bogus voting, rigging and impersonation inside polling booths, he said that the Congress candidate had already requested the appointment of the Central government officers, who were more free and fair in their duties, decisions and actions, as polling officials.

Mr. Sudhakaran also appealed to the EC to not allow Kannur Tahsildar, who is the electoral registration officer, and the Deputy Tahsildar to continue in their respective posts during the election and till the completion of inquiry into allegations of malpractices in the electoral roll. Stating that the Tahsildar was from the district, he said that there were several allegations against him with regard to malpractices in the preparation of the electoral roll for the byelection. While verifications of those malpractices were understood to have started, the Tahsildar, who has not been transferred from the post, was using the opportunity to suppress evidences, the representation said.

The MP also requested that all the relevant records and papers connected with the preparation of the electoral roll in the Kannur taluk should be taken into the custody of the EC as there were chances for tampering with the records and papers. Mr.Sudhakaran also urged the EC that the identity of the voters be checked thoroughly.

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