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Nagaland Cong to demand repolling

Kohima, April 10: The Nagaland Congress has said it would demand for repolling in several polling stations.

Party candidate K.V. Pusa, has already lodged a complaint with returning officer Temjen Toy but the party would officially lodge a written complain tomorrow.

The general secretary (administration), Medokhul Sophie, said there was mass proxy voting and election malpractices during the April 9 Lok Sabha polls in the state.

He said there was unprecedented proxy voting by the supporters of chief minister Neiphiu Rio who is contesting as a Naga People’s Front (NPF) candidate.

The voter turnout was very low but the voting percentage was nearly 90 per cent though the returning officer was still working out for the final count.

Most of the polling stations in the urban areas remained deserted but there was massive proxy voting by supporters of the NPF.

In 2009 parliamentary polls, the percentage was 89.8 per cent.

The Congress said it would convene a meeting this evening and an official complaint would be lodged tomorrow with the returning officer for re-polling in stations.

Most of the polling stations out of 2,057 polling stations polled over 70 per cent. “We will demand for re-polling in all the booths which have polled over 90 per cent,” Sophie said.

At Viswema, one polling station had 98 per cent turnout and in another 95 per cent. Sophie said there was also report of 100 per cent in one of the polling stations in Tseminyu subdivision.

Kiphire district recorded highest voting percentage with 95.83 per cent while the lowest was Tuensang with 72.2 per cent. The use of 84 webcasting and CCTV, five election observes and around 150 micro election observers was meaningless.

The clean-election campaign by the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC), use of electoral photo identity card (EPICs) and a month-long voter-awareness campaign carried out by the election department of the state and Election Commission did not work.

Chief electoral officer Sentiyanger Imchen admitted that proxy voting, rigging and malpractices were responsible for high percentage of voting in the state.

“The Congress will surely win if there was no proxy voting by the NPF,” Sophie said.

He criticised the NPF for indulging in undemocratic means to win the elections.

So far, the polls could not be held at Ladigrah as Assam police did not allow Nagaland polling officials to enter the designated polling station — a government primary school. The returning officer said the state government was in touch with the Election Commission, home ministry and Assam government to resolve the issue.

After today’s scrutiny, the returning officer will decide whether there would be repolling in some booths.