Action initiated against Tripura poll officials for unlawful activities in first phase

Action initiated against Tripura poll officials for unlawful activities in first phase

Agency News

Agartala, April 21 : More than a week after election to West Tripura parliamentary constituency, the Election Commission has initiated action against the polling officials, micro observers and the polling agents of ruling BJP on the charge of unlawful activities in the polling booths on April 11 last after the entire opposition came together demanding for fresh elections to the seat.

While opposition CPI (M) held protest demonstration in Delhi and Agartala demanding fresh polls in West Tripura alleging large scale booth capturing and rigging, Congress threatened to move the Supreme Court against the Election Commission for its inaction against the manipulation of poll at the behest of ruling BJP.

Further, Congress demanded action against CEO Sriram Taranikanti for misleading EC with fabricated information, which surfaced yesterday when Tripura Congress Vice-President Pijush Kanti Biswas met Deputy Election Commissioner Sudip Jain at Delhi to reassert the demand for fresh polls in West Tripura.

"In order to counter the demand for fresh polls to West Tripura seat, Jain said CEO Taranikanti had told the EC that the complete video footage of the election has been shown to all the political parties on April 13 last, and only a few incidents that can be called unprecedented were seen in the video. As a result, re-poll in some booths can be justified but not all, which is a false and misleading conclusion derived by CEO," Biswas told media over the phone from Delhi.

“I told Jain that the Congress party was not even informed that the CEO had any plans to display the video footage of the election here. Had it been done it could satisfy us. So far, we know none of the parties were shown the footage. We had learnt from our reliable sources that CC TV cameras in most of the booths were either destroyed or made dysfunctional in connivance with the election administration by the ruling party cadres,” Biswas claimed.

He stated that the CEO's statement proved that severe malpractice was committed during the election, and alleged,“The BJP cadres were provided the contracts to take videos of the election process by manipulating the system, to ensure no recording of their unlawful activities and violence were captured.”

Later, the party sent a memorandum to ECI seeking immediate removal and action against CEO along with removal of DGP A K Shukla, IGP (Law & Order) Punit Rastogi, home secretary Kumar Alok, additional secretary to CM Dr Milind Ramteke, OSD (security) Dilip Roy and OSD (media) Sanjoy Misra, raising specific allegations against each of them in manipulating the election machinery in favour of BJP.

Meanwhile, on the basis of direction of Returning Officer of West Tripura Dr Sandeep M Mahatme action against the micro observers, presiding officers and polling staff for misconduct during the voting in West Tripura along with the civilians who were found involved in illegal activities inside the polling booths has started.

I this connection, last night police arrested six persons, including the micro observer, presiding officer, three polling staff and a videographer in booth number 50 of Belonia assembly constituency. They were later released on bail.

The assistant returning officer of Jirania has also served show-cause notice to 14 polling staff so far. (UNI)