By Our Reporter
AGARTALA, February 24, 2018: The ECI has ordered re-poll in six polling stations across six assembly constituencies of Tripura on February 26 including Chief Minister Manik Sarkar’s home turf – Dhanpur.
The ruling CPIM has accused electoral authority of ‘criminal negligence’ and threatened them saying “No one will be spared”.
In a letter to Tripura Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Taranikanti, Election Commission of India (ECI) secretary Arvind Kumar said re-poll has been ordered in six polling stations in six assembly constituency seats – Sonamura, Teliamura, Sabroom, Ampinagar, Kadamtala-Kurti and Dhanpur.
In ten other polling stations, the ECI has given a set of instructions for counting of votes on Mar 03 and announcement of results.
According to the ECI directions, counting at seven polling stations other than those which would go to re-poll, would be held by counting paper slips from VVPAT devices. Presiding Officers in some of these polling centers ‘inadvertently’ started polling without deleting votes cast during mock poll session on election day morning.
VVPAT devices were first used in Tripura polls this year as a confidence-building initiative among voters.
CPIM state secretary Bijan Dhar has raised grave allegations of ‘failure’ to hold proper polls and ‘criminal negligence’ against the Election Commission, Tripura CEO Sriram Taranikanti and other officials and said, “Nobody will be spared. They will have to answer before the people”. He also said actions of the CEO in assembly polls this year were not ‘beyond suspicion of political bias’.
On the issue, Taranikanti claimed he and his ‘team’ were ‘independent and neutral’. Asked why the six polling centers would go to re-poll, he refused to give any reasons and said ‘procedural issues’ were there. He said ECI decision to hold re-poll was independent and fair.
A total of 3,174 polling stations across 59 assembly seats went to polls on Feb 18 in the state. Six out of these would go to re-poll, apparently without any reason, where 5,600 voters would participate.
BJP spokesperson Dr. Ashok Sinha has criticized CPIM for their allegation on ECI of ‘criminal negligence’ and demanded that the communist party proves it. Sinha claimed the ECI decision to hold re-poll was ‘welcome’.