Some political candidates appear to have complained regarding the postal ballot process to be cast by service personnel
The Army has initiated a probe by a Major General-rank officer after the Deputy Commissioner of Leh wrote a letter to the Army alleging "malpractices" on part of various commanding officers in the electronic postal ballot system during the recently-held Lok Sabha polls there on May 6.
"Some political candidates appear to have complained regarding the postal ballot process to be cast by service personnel. No specific instances have been mentioned in the complaints," said Srinagar based defence spokesperson Colonel Rajesh Kalia in a statement.
"Preliminary investigations indicate that the complaints are unfounded and appear to have been made to tarnish the image of the Army. An in-depth investigation is on to ascertain the details in the most impartial manner. Army remains apolitical and we hold this core value in letter and spirit," said Col Rajesh Kalia in a statement.
In her letter to General Officer in Command of Leh-based XIV corps, Anvy Lavasa said a complaint has been received from contesting candidates for the Ladakh Parliamentary seat alleging that there are malpractices on the part of various commanding officers of the Indian army in the electronic postal ballot system.
It is alleged that the commanding officers are telephonically asking jawans for their voting preference rather than supplying to them the ballot paper for casting votes, she said in her letter.
"This is a gross violation of secrecy of voting and a malpractice that has the potential to invite strict legal action. In this context it is requested that all the concerned officers may be sensitised about the issue and the sanctity of the election process maintained," Anvy, who is the daughter of Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, said in her letter.