West Tripura: Repolling ordered in 168 polling stations

The Election Commission has ordered a repoll at 168 polling stations out of 1,679 polling stations in West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency, an election official said on Wednesday. PTI file photo

The Election Commission has ordered a repoll at 168 polling stations out of 1,679 polling stations in West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency, an election official said on Wednesday.

Repoll in polling stations spread over 26 of the 30 assembly segments of the Lok Sabha constituency will be held on May 12, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Taranikanti said.

Polling in the constituency was held on April 11 last and opposition CPI-M and the Congress had demanded repoll in the entire constituency, alleging large-scale rigging by the BJP during voting on April 11.

Expressing dissatisfaction over the EC's decision, Congress vice-president Tapas Dey said, "We were surprised to find that repoll was ordered only in few polling stations. We have no other alternative but to move the Supreme Court."

BJP spokesperson Ashok Sinha said, "EC is the judge and they have every right to declare re-polling."

State secretary of the CPI-M Gautam Das said, We wanted fresh elections in the constituency. We are not satisfied with the EC order. Many voters who could not exercise their franchise in other polling stations of the constituency due to alleged rigging would be deprived."

In his appeal to political parties, candidates, polling officials and police personnel, the CEO said they should demonstrate on May 12 that "We can do it in a nice and positive environment.

Meanwhile, additional paramilitary contingents have started arriving in the state for deployment during the re-poll exercise. State election department officials said central forces would be deployed in all the polling booths.

The CEO said webcams will be set up in all polling stations.

The EC on Thursday had removed West Tripura District Magistrate Sandeep Namdeo Mahatme, who was the Returning Officer of West Tripura Lok Sabha seat.

Mahatme was replaced by East Tripura RO and District Magistrate of Dhalai, Vikash Singh. 

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