Agartala, May 2 : Election Commission of India (ECI) today asked Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Tripura Sriram Taranikanti to relieve incumbent District Magistrate and Returning Officer of West Tripura parliamentary constituency Dr Sandeep M Mahatme and not to post him any election related work.
The ECI secretary Arvind Anand in a direction asked district magistrate of Dhalai district and returning officer of East Tripura parliamentary constituency Vikas Singh to join in place of Dr Mahatme by this evening. The order directed to send a panel of eligible officers for the posting of RO East Tripura in place of Singh before closing the working hour.
The massive malpractice and unlawful activities during first phase election to West Tripura on April 11 last had triggered serious reaction among the political parties and voters, which is believed to be compelled ECI to remove RO as first step. Both the opposition CPI (M) and Congress have been continuously pressuring ECI for holding fresh poll in the seat alleging large scale violence, intermediation and poll riggings.
The report of RO had also indicated dissatisfaction over the conduct of polling in 433 polling booths of 1679 in West Tripura while congress had alleged because of threat and intimidations more than one lakh of their voters could not reach to the booths and thousands of their voters were pushed out from the queue at the behest of ruling party.
The congress had already met three times with ECI in Delhi to press for their demand of fresh poll in West Tripura and CPI (M) delegation made series of demonstrations in the state and Delhi on the same demand besides, meeting with ECI. Meanwhile, ruling BJP expressed their unhappiness against CEO and alleged that he did not responded to their complaint rather found inclined to the opposition parties without logical grounds.
The BJP has also held a mass rally today here alleging opposition parties’ conspiracy against ruling BJP and the state government to create tension in the state. All the senior party leaders and functionaries including the Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb walked on the street and later addressing a gathering urged people to reject the malicious campaign of CPI (M) and Congress.
“Narendra Modi led BJP government is all set to come in power with comfortable majority and we have already identified the black sheep within the party and the government. None of them will be spared whoever conspired to defame the government,” said Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb in the rally.
Meanwhile, East Tripura CPI (M) candidate Jitendra Choudhury in a letter to Chief Election Commissioner requested to revoke the transfer order of the RO Vikas Singh of his constituency till counting is over. Appreciating the commission, he underlined that under Singh the election in East Tripura was held largely free and fair.