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West Tripura Returning Officer removed

By Correspondent
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AGARTALA, May 2 - In the face of persistent demand by Opposition parties, the Election Commission (EC) today removed Returning Officer (RO) of West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency, Dr Sandeep Mahatme.

Vikash Singh, who oversaw the polling in the East Tripura Lok Sabha seat without any major incident as the RO, has been appointed as the RO of the controversy-ridden West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency.

In a letter addressed to Chief Electoral Officer Sriram Tarinikanta on Thursday, the EC asked him to appoint Vikash Singh as the RO of West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency, polling for which was conducted on April 11 amid allegations of large-scale booth capturing and rigging.

Dr Sandeep Mahatme should be relieved and shall not be given any election posting, the EC said, giving a clear indication that repoll may be conducted in 131 polling stations of the West Tripura seat soon.

The EC move came after the Congress and CPI (M) strongly demanded repoll in several booths and removal of a number of poll officials, including the CEO. Significantly, the EC is yet to take a final decision on repoll in some booths as the outgoing RO had already confirmed malpractices in some booths on April 11.

Meanwhile, the State Election Department has already served show-cause notices to several AROs, micro observers and presiding officers.

SDM (Belonia) Ghuncha Sanobar, who acted as the Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) in the election to the West Tripura seat on April 11, has been put under suspension. Show-cause notices have been served on altogether 43 poll personnel comprising presiding officers, polling officers and camerapersons for various irregularities.

The SDM (Belonia) could not be contacted, but sources in the subdivisional administration said that action would be taken due to the time taken in scrutinising documentary, videographic and webcasting records.

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West Tripura Returning Officer removed

AGARTALA, May 2 - In the face of persistent demand by Opposition parties, the Election Commission (EC) today removed Returning Officer (RO) of West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency, Dr Sandeep Mahatme.

Vikash Singh, who oversaw the polling in the East Tripura Lok Sabha seat without any major incident as the RO, has been appointed as the RO of the controversy-ridden West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency.

In a letter addressed to Chief Electoral Officer Sriram Tarinikanta on Thursday, the EC asked him to appoint Vikash Singh as the RO of West Tripura Lok Sabha constituency, polling for which was conducted on April 11 amid allegations of large-scale booth capturing and rigging.

Dr Sandeep Mahatme should be relieved and shall not be given any election posting, the EC said, giving a clear indication that repoll may be conducted in 131 polling stations of the West Tripura seat soon.

The EC move came after the Congress and CPI (M) strongly demanded repoll in several booths and removal of a number of poll officials, including the CEO. Significantly, the EC is yet to take a final decision on repoll in some booths as the outgoing RO had already confirmed malpractices in some booths on April 11.

Meanwhile, the State Election Department has already served show-cause notices to several AROs, micro observers and presiding officers.

SDM (Belonia) Ghuncha Sanobar, who acted as the Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) in the election to the West Tripura seat on April 11, has been put under suspension. Show-cause notices have been served on altogether 43 poll personnel comprising presiding officers, polling officers and camerapersons for various irregularities.

The SDM (Belonia) could not be contacted, but sources in the subdivisional administration said that action would be taken due to the time taken in scrutinising documentary, videographic and webcasting records.