Tripura Assembly Election: EC orders repoll in six stations, Manik Sarkar's Dhanpur constituency part of list

The Election Commission directed the Tripura Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to conduct a repoll in six polling stations on Monday, an official said

IANS February 23, 2018 18:43:37 IST
Tripura Assembly Election: EC orders repoll in six stations, Manik Sarkar's Dhanpur constituency part of list

Agartala: The Election Commission on Friday directed the Tripura Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to conduct a repoll in six polling stations on Monday, an official said.

One polling station falls in Dhanpur segment, from where chief minister and CPM politburo member Manik Sarkar is contesting.

Tripura Assembly Election EC orders repoll in six stations Manik Sarkars Dhanpur constituency part of list

Representational image. Sushanta Das/101 Reporters

While the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist criticised the election department officials for "criminal negligence" in performing polling duties on 18 February, the Congress flayed them for playing a "biased role" and criticised both the Election Commission and the state election machinery.

"The Election Commission has asked the CEO to conduct repoll in six polling stations in six Assembly constituencies across Tripura on 26 February," an official of the Tripura Election Department said.

The official said the EC also issued orders regarding VVPATs (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trails) of seven polling stations in seven Assembly constituencies since their respective presiding officers did not allegedly get clearance from EVM (Electronic Voting Machines) control units of the votes cast during the mandatory mock poll before the start of actual polling.

The Election Commission said in four polling stations in four Assembly seats, the total number of electors did not tally with the total number of votes recorded.

"The Election Commission has also asked the returning officers of these four Assembly constituencies not to declare results without prior permission if the winning margin is one vote," the official added.

The CPM Tripura State Secretary Bijan Dhar criticised the Election Department for what he called "criminal negligence" regarding polling in 59 of the 60 Assembly seats.

"Due to technical problems in EVMs-VVPATs the voters suffered an inordinate delay in casting their ballots till 18 February midnight. This happened because of incompetence and apathy of the election officials," Dhar said in a media statement.

Chief Electoral Officer Sriram Taranikanti earlier said that 191 (6 percent) VVPATs and 89 (5 percent) EVMs malfunctioned across the state.

Dhar said technical glitches in EVMs-VVPATs were reported from around 520 polling stations and demanded a probe.

Tripura Pradesh Congress vice-president Tapas Dey, without naming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said officials of the Election Commission and the Election Department were biased in favour of a particular party.

Over 92 percent of Tripura's 25,36,589 voters cast their votes in Sunday's peaceful elections in 59 of the 60 Assembly seats, setting a new record in the electoral history of India.

In the 2013 and 2008 Assembly polls, Tripura registered 92 percent and 91 percent voting respectively.

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