Agartala, May 8 (GCCurrentAffairs) After a long discussion and debate, Election Commission of India (ECI) last night has declared polls held on April 11 last at 168 booths of West Tripura parliamentary constituency as void and announced to hold repoll in those booths of 1679 on May 12 next along with sixth phase general election in the country.
While opposition Congress and CPI (M) were not happy with ECI decision, ruling BJP said it was nothing like satisfaction and dissatisfaction, as ECI is the supreme authority of the country to hold elections, every citizen abide by it’s decision.
According to order issued by it’s Secretary S B Joshi, the repoll will be held in the booths those spread over 26 assembly segments of total 30 in West Tripura. The order stated on the basis of reports submitted by CEO, General Observers, Returning Officer and after taking all material circumstances into account, commission declared the polling in 168 booths to be void.
“ECI appoints May 12 (Sunday) as date and fixes from 0700 to 1700 hours for taking fresh poll at the said polling stations in accordance with the instructions of commission contained in the hand book for returning officers,” order read.
The highest number of booths 18 in each constituencies going for repoll is falling under Khayerpur assembly segment of Agartala and Bishalgarh while lowest is one in Simna. The Khayerpur assembly is represented by BJP, Bishalgarh is under CPI-M and Simna is represented by IPFT.
Meantime, a large number of central paramilitary forces from neghibouring states have reached to West Tripura and they have been accommodated in 12 government schools to hold repoll. The commission has also made all other arrangements to ensure free and fair polling in the constituency and sought support from political parties, CEO Sriram Taranikanti said.
However, opposition congress convened emergent meeting of state committee to decide their next course of action and discussion with the central leadership has been continuing over the issue, as they sought for fresh poll in West Tripura raising allegations of large scale violence and preventing more than a lakh of voters from casting votes on April 11.
“We are sorry to say that ECI has failed to maintain it’s neutrality despite having series proofs regarding unlawful activities including booth capturing at the behest of ruling dispensation. Moreover, returning officer himself in his report mentioned various discrepancies against 433 polling stations that include the report of non-functioning of web cameras in 368 booths. If ECI considers 433 at least we could find some logic,” said Pradesh congress Vice President Tapas Dey.
He however, indicated that the party will decide the action plan including moving to court against ECI.
On the other, CPI (M) also expressed displeasure over the decision of repoll in 168 booths and senior leader of the party Pabitra Kar said that they had demanded fresh poll after getting all proofs and also shared with ECI. There was no acceptable logic of repoll in 168 booths except ECI’s attempt to make BJP happy.
“Tripura earned bad name because of this election and if there is fresh poll at least neutrality of ECI would not be questioned. People could feel that democracy is prevailed in India and independent bodies like ECI works impartially but now it appears reverse,” Kar said.
The BJP Spokesperson Dr Ashok Sinha said that holding election is the duty of ECI and role of political parties is to help them. When ECI decided to hold repoll in 168 booths, responsibility of BJP is to follow the instructions and take part in the democratic process, he added.