AGARTALA, April 12 - Though polling to the West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency was broadly free, fair and peaceful, opposition parties CPI(M) and Congress on Friday demanded repolling in several booths alleging large scale malpractices.
The polling percentage rose from 81 per cent to 83.01 after final calculation by the Returning Officer on Friday. It means that the prestigious constituency recorded almost the same polling percentage as in the 2014 elections.
�BJP workers and their sponsored criminals completely rigged the polling process in over 460 of the total 1,679 polling stations in the Parliamentary constituency,� said CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
Speaking to the media here on Thursday night, Yechury alleged that BJP karyakartas and their �hooligans� drove out polling agents of CPI (M) in several booths to rig the voting process.
Yechury alleged that several hundreds of voters were not allowed to cast their votes by the BJP supporters and the presiding officers, observers and micro observers remained inactive.
A delegation of the CPI(M) has submitted a memorandum to the Election Commission highlighting the malpractices in the first phase of election in Tripura. In the memorandum, the party has sought repolling in 460 polling stations to make the process free and fair.
PCC vice president Pijush Biswas was fuming over the way polling was conducted in West Tripura Parliamentary constituency. �Tripura had never seen such a violence and rigging-hit election in the past. We have lodged complaints with the poll panel and the police authority but they did not respond�, he told the media at Congress Bhavan here.
�CEO Sriram Tarinikanta and DGP AK Sukla did not perform their duties impartially making the election a farce. We want they should be removed from their posts,� he said, adding that the party demands repolling in 151 polling booths for rigging, threat and intimidation.
However, the ruling BJP congratulated the electors for exercising their democratic rights. �After long years, voters cast votes in festival mood,� said party spokesman Dr Ashok Sinha here today.
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Tarinikanta on Friday told the media that the poll panel has been conducting scrutiny on all the complaints regarding Thursday�s polling. �If something objectionable is found in the scrutiny, repolling will be ordered to ensure free and fair elections,� he added.