Local News

EC official evaluates first phase of Tripura polls

The Election Commission’s Special Observer for Tripura Vinod Zutshi, former Deputy Election Commissioner, on Wednesday studied various reports, documents, video and webcasting footages of the poll process in Tripura West Lok Sabha constituency.

Polling for the Tripura West Lok Sabha seat was held in the first phase of voting on April 11 with allegations of malpractices and violence.

“At a marathon meeting, Zutshi thoroughly scrutinised various reports, documents, video and webcasting footages of the polling process of Tripura West parliamentary constituency,” an Election Commission official said.

He said that Tripura Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Taranikanti, Returning Officer Sandeep Mahatme (who is also the District Magistrate and Collector of West Tripura district), all 19 Assistant Returning Officers and other officials were present at the meeting.

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 opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) demanded re-polling in 846 of the 1,679 polling booths while the Congress wanted fresh polling in the entire Tripura West constituency.

In support of their demands, leaders of the CPI-M and the Congress, who met the Election Commission in Delhi and the Chief Electoral Officer and other officials in Agartala on a number of occasions, have submitted documents and videography of the April 11 polling.

The CPI-M leaders held demonstrations in Agartala and in front of the EC office in Delhi to highlight their demands.

The BJP leaders, however, dismissed the accusations calling them false and concocted.

CEO Sriram Taranikanti on April 18 apprised the Election Commission in Delhi and submitted detailed reports on the wrongdoings and recommendations to the EC on the first phase of polling to the Tripura West Lok Sabha seat.

He once again told the media on Wednesday evening here that FIRs were being filed by the Assistant Returning Officers against Presiding, Polling officers and political activists who indulged in malpractices during the polling for the Tripura West Lok seat on April 11.

The CEO said that after scrutinising the final reports, it was found that 83.15 per cent of the total 1,257,944 voters on Tuesday cast their ballots in the deferred polling for the Tripura East parliamentary constituency.

Citing a “non-conducive security situation”, the Election Commission last week had deferred voting for the seat from April 18 to April 23.

Inputs from IANS

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