Agartala, Apr 30 (GCCurrentAffairs) In an attempt to exert fresh pressure on the Election Commission of India (ECI) to countermand first phase polling held in West Tripura parliamentary constituency held on April 11 last, AICC team headed by Abhisekh Manu Singhvi and senior congress leader and former minister Jairam Ramesh yesterday met poll panel.
The team comprised Tripura Pradesh Congress committee president Pradyot Kishore Debbarman, vice-president Pijush Kanti Biswas and party’s West Tripura candidate Subal Bhowmik. They reiterated their demand for fresh polls in the constituency alleging large scale irregularities and unlawful activities during the poll, which was also reflected in the report of the Returning Officer.
They alleged that polling in more than 75 percent polling booths was not normal and transparent. More than 1.5 lakh genuine voters including 500 polling staff could not exercise their franchise in first phase elections. Besides threats and intimidation to the opposition supporters, ruling BJP vitiated the environment of free and fair polling.
“This is clear from the action of ECI against poll officials and report of RO that there was no fair election on April 11 last. A detailed report after the scrutiny of documents, video and webcasting footage of the poll process in the West Tripura seat was sent to the Election Commission by the state authority but commission has not yet announced the decision, which made us doubtful,” Tripura Congress President Pradyot Kishore said.
He, however, expressed satisfaction over the meeting with ECI yesterday and underlined that the poll panel appeared to be convinced about the demand of fresh election in West Tripura and would countermand the first phase poll. While Congress demanded fresh poll in the constituency followed by CPI (M), the RO found various discrepancies in 433 polling booths of 1679.
Meanwhile, the opposition CPI (M) held demonstration yesterday protesting large-scale ‘rigging’ in election to West Tripura parliamentary constituency. The CPI (M) candidate Shankar Prasad Datta alleged that a report of the party found that barring a few booths, ruling BJP and its goons had directly killed the democracy of the country and they curtailed the fundamental rights of common voters, preventing at least 50 percent voters from casting their votes due to mass rigging and hooliganism of ruling party.