'No discrepancy', RO clarifies on 'mismatch' in figures at few polling stations in Tripura

Agartala, April 24 (IANS): Rejecting the CPI-M’s complaint of “irregularities” after voter turnout reportedly exceeded 100 per cent at a few polling centres under the Tripura West Lok Sabha seat, the Returning Officer (RO) of the constituency has clarified that the mismatch was caused as the reserved polling officials from the nearby areas cast their votes in these polling stations.

Voting was held in the Tripura West Lok Sabha seat in the first phase on April 19.

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.

In the ENCORE application, the total electors have been taken as per the electoral rolls (total electors in the polling stations).

The EDC is not added to the total column in ENCORE. However, the EDC votes are added to the total vote cast. Hence, the percentage of votes cast exceeded 100 per cent at a few polling stations, the RO said in his report.

Alleging booth capturing and rigging, the opposition CPI-M on Monday demanded fresh polling in the Tripura West Parliamentary constituency.

Immediately after the polls on April 19, the INDIA bloc, comprising the Congress, the CPI-M, and six other parties, alleged large-scale booth capturing, intimidation, and malpractices as they demanded countermanding of the elections to the seat.

In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on Monday, Tripura CPI-M Secretary Jitendra Chaudhury submitted data from the Tripura Election Department about polling in parts of three Assembly segments under the Tripura West Lok Sabha seat.

Citing the data of votes polled and the eligible electorate, he claimed that voter turnout had exceeded 100 per cent at four polling centres in Majlishpur, Khayerpur, and Mohanpur Assembly segments.

Alleging that the polling figures showed a 'mismatch' with the figures on the ground, Chaudhury said: “The records of the statements of the Election Department unequivocally vindicate that the elections were not held in a free, fair, and transparent manner.”


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Title: 'No discrepancy', RO clarifies on 'mismatch' in figures at few polling stations in Tripura

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