The Election Commission (EC) is likely to announce re-polling in a large number of polling stations in the Tripura West parliamentary constituency, where voting took place in the first phase of elections on April 11, an official said here on Saturday.
“After scrutiny of reports, documents, video and webcasting footages of the poll process in the Tripura West Lok Sabha seat, detailed reports were sent to the Election Commission on Friday. The commission after studying the reports may declare re-poll in a large number of polling booths,” a senior EC official told IANS.
The official predicted re-polling in as many as 140 polling stations out of the total 1,679. He said the analysis was done in two phases — April 12 to April 17 and April 24 to April 26.
“The Election Commission’s Special Observer for Tripura Vinod Zutshi, former Deputy Election Commissioner, supervised the second phase (April 24 to April 26) of study of official reports, documents, video and webcasting footages of the poll process in the Tripura West Lok Sabha constituency.”
The official said Tripura Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Taranikanti on April 18 apprised the EC on the wrongdoing and submitted detailed reports and recommendations.
The CEO, four EC-appointed general observers, Returning Officer Sandeep Mahatme (also the District Magistrate and Collector of West Tripura district), all 19 Assistant Returning Officers and other officials were present in the second phase of studies.
Taranikanti said after scrutinising reports, it was found that 83.15 per cent of the 1,257,944 voters cast their voters in the deferred polling on April 23 in the Tripura East parliamentary constituency, reserved for the tribals. “There is no major complain in the polling to this seat,” he said.
Alleging large-scale rigging, booth capturing, intimidation and attacks on the voters and polling agents by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members and their goons, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) demanded re-polling in 846 of the 1,679 polling booths. The Congress wants fresh polling in the entire Tripura West constituency.
The CPI-M leaders held simultaneous demonstrations in Agartala and in New Delhi on April 16 to highlight their demands. The BJP leaders, however, dismissed the accusations calling them false and concocted.