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Action against poll official

Agartala, April 17: The election department of Tripura is taking disciplinary action against the presiding officer of polling station number 56 at Dhwajanagar Anganwadi centre under Bishalgarh Assembly segment of West Tripura parliamentary constituency in accordance with the provisions of Representation of Peoples Act, 1955.

Reacting to allegations made by all Opposition parties against alleged “rigging and booth capturing” by the ruling CPM, the election department here issued a notification last night.

The notification said the attention of the election department had been drawn to allegations made by Opposition parties based on a video clip shown on a cable TV channel regarding alleged “rigging and booth capturing” in a polling station at Bishalgarh Assembly segment under West Tripura parliamentary constituency.

“The election department immediately sought detailed report from the micro-observer, assistant returning officer and returning officer-cum- district magistrate and collector of West Tripura and the report has been obtained,” said the notification.

It said a voter nominated by the presiding officer had helped two very old and visually-challenged voters in casting their votes on electronic voting machines.

“According to the guideline of the Election Commission, one voter nominated by the presiding officer is authorised to help a disabled, blind or visually-challenged voter to cast his or her vote but in the given case the same voter nominated by the presiding officer had helped two voters in casting votes, which is irregular,” the notification said, adding that disciplinary measure against the presiding officer is being taken for violation of rules of the commission.

However, the statement said the incident had taken place on April 7, the day of election to West Tripura parliamentary constituency, but there was no complaint till April 14.

But the Opposition here has kept alive the controversy with Tripura Gramin Vikash Congress party leader and candidate in West Tripura, Subal Bhowmik, reiterating his demand for re-election to both the Lok Sabha seats in the state and removal of Ashutosh Jindal from the post of chief electoral officer.

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