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60% turnout in Karimganj repoll

- BJP mulls moving court to challenge EC order to hold re-election in only 3 booths

Hailakandi, May 7: The re-polling in the three booths of Karimganj (SC) Lok Sabha constituency passed off peacefully today, with a 60.57 turnout.

According to a press communiqué issued by the office of chief electoral officer, Assam, the 242 Kaparibond LP School under Patharkandi Assembly constituency reported maximum of 64.20 per cent voting followed by 203 Matijuri Girls’ LP School (59.50 per cent) and Hari Charan Mahamaya Girls’ High School 58 per cent respectively (both under Hailakandi Assembly constituency).

Tight security arrangement was made in and around the three booths for smooth conduct of the polls.

There was very low turnout in the morning in these booths because of rain and thundershower.

The re-polling was ordered by the Election Commission in the three booths after the BJP complained of rigging. The elections in these stations were held on April 12.

Sushanta Mohan Chattapadhyay, after casting his vote along with his wife at Hari Charan Mahamaya Girls’ High School in the Laxmisahar area of Hailakandi town around 11.30am, said exercising franchise in democracy was always good but expressed concern over incidents like booth capturing and rigging.

He said security should be tightened and people also should be aware of booth capturing and rigging.

Another voter, Mridula Debnath, 76, said she was frustrated because her earlier vote became useless because of the repoll. She expressed resentment after casting her vote because she had to come out and vote again in heavy rain.

A three-member BJP team of candidate Krishna Das, one of the secretaries of central committee of BJP’s Mahila Morcha, Sipra Goon, and Hailakandi district organisational secretary Saikat Dutta Choudhury met the election officials in New Delhi and demanded the repoll in 98 booths but the commission relented to only three.

Sipra, dissatisfied with the decision of the Election Commission for holding repoll in the three booths only in Karimganj seat, said the party was contemplating to move court to challenge it.

She reiterated that there was widespread rigging, proxy voting and booth capturing in most of the stations in south Karimganj, which represents state minister Siddique Ahmed. She also demanded action against the persons identified in the rigging in the three booths where repolling was ordered.

The district administration had interrogated the three persons, Bapan Das, Dilwar Hussain and Nurul Haque Barbhuiya, identified in connection with the alleged proxy voting.


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