| Voters queue up outside a polling station to cast their votes in Agartala. File picture |
Agartala, Feb. 17: Repoll in booth no. 36 of Kakrabon-Shalgarah Assembly constituency in the newly created Gomati district will take place tomorrow between 7am and 4pm. This is the first time repolling has been ordered in the state during an Assembly election.
Chief electoral officer Ashutosh Jindal said the repoll had been necessitated by malfunction of the electronic voting machine on February 14.
“Booth no. 36 has 516 registered voters. On polling day, voting had commenced smoothly but midway there was no beep sound after voters pressed the EVM button. So they pressed again and it was found that there was a discrepancy of more votes cast than the number of voters,” said Jindal.
He said the matter had been brought to the notice of Election Commission. “After considering the matter, the poll panel directed us to conduct a repoll on February 18 and we will do so as instructed,” Jindal said. He said security measures were being tightened in Kakrabon constituency.
In a case of pot-poll violence, an indigenous Congress leader, Kharendra Reang, 48, was hacked to death on February 15 at Karbook under Natun Bazar police station of South Tripura. Police sources said Reang was a CPM worker till October last year. He subsequently joined the Congress and persuaded more than a 1,000 voters from an indigenous community to join the party.
“Kharendra had some work in Karbook market and on his way back home, he visited his friend Vishnuram Reang’s house to keep some goods he was carrying. While he was there, three armed masked men attacked and killed him before dumping his body in a ditch next to Vishnuram’s house,” said deputy inspector-general (operation), Nepal Chandra Das. A strike was observed yesterday in Karbook and Natun Bazar in protest against the killing.
A series of clashes between Congress and CPM supporters was also reported from Mazlishpur under Jirania sub-division. PCC president Sudip Roy Barman alleged that five Congress workers had been hurt in “planned attacks” by CPM cadres.
“Three of them are in hospital and we are taking care of their treatment. The CPM is creating terror before the counting of ballots, sensing imminent defeat,” said Roy Barman. However, CPM office secretary Haripada Das accused Congress workers of attempting to create trouble and destabilise the state.