Friday, May 24, 2024

In West Tripura, voter turnouts of 105.30%, 100.15%, and 109.09% prompt CPIM demand for re-election

In a letter to the Election Commission, Communist Party of India (Marxist) flagged “official claims” of voter turnouts of more than 100 per cent having been recorded in three Assembly segments in West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency.

Jitendra Chaudhury, the CPM Tripura secretary, referred to polling statistics reportedly obtained from the returning officer’s office. He claimed that voter turnouts in specific areas exceeded 100%. Specifically, he alleged turnouts of 105.30% in part 44 of the Majlishpur segment, 100.15% in parts 25 and 44 of the Khayerpur segment, and 109.09% in part 38 of the Mohanpur segment.

“The above records unequivocally vindicates that, the election to West Tripura Parliamentary Constituency and the by-election to Ramnagar assembly constituency, which is a part of the same parliamentary constituency, were not held in a free, fair and normal manner. Such mismatched polling percentage may happen only when the booths are captured and completely rigged in an organized manner,” read the letter to Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar.

Chaudhury, the leader of the Opposition, also argued that the discrepancies in the figures supported the Congress and CPM’s call to annul the elections conducted on April 19 for both the Lok Sabha and Assembly seats. He demanded for new elections to “prevent the robbing of the people’s mandate.”

Congress leader Sudip Roy Barman claimed that although the Election Commission managed to curb widespread bogus voting, it failed to control hooliganism. He alleged that this failure led to voters being obstructed from casting their votes, Indian Express reported.

Rejecting the CPI(M)’s complaint, the Returning Officer (RO) of the constituency has said that the mismatch was caused as the reserved polling officials from the nearby areas cast their votes in these polling stations.

In his inquiry report, the RO, Vishal Kumar, ruled out any discrepancy or subversion of the election process.

“A report has been obtained from the Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) for all four polling booths which showed the mismatch was the result of the votes of the election officials with Election Duty Certificate (EDC) polled in these polling stations. These polling stations are located near the ARO headquarters, dispersal centres, and strong rooms. In addition, many reserved polling officials were deployed in the nearby areas who cast their votes in these polling stations through EDC on the polling day,” Kumar said, IANS news agency reported.

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