The Telegraph
Tuesday , April 22 , 2014
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Cong to meet poll official

Kohima, April 21: The Nagaland Congress will meet the returning officer for the Lok Sabha polls in the state and lodge a complaint against irregularities in the conduct of polls on April 9.

Congress candidate K.V. Pusa had already met returning officer Temjen Toy once after the elections and registered his protest against a largescale proxy voting by the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF).

NPF candidate and chief minister Neiphiu Rio has thanked the voters for the success of the elections.

Despite largescale irregularities in the election process, the Election Commission has not recommended repoll in any polling stations.

Election could not be held at Ladigarh polling stations under Longleng district as Assam police prevented polling officials from entering the government primary school where a polling booth was set up.

The Congress will also meet the officials of Election Commission and lodge an official complaint asking the commission for repoll in several polling stations which have recorded over 90 per cent voting.

Particularly in the urban areas polling booths remained almost deserted but the polling percentage was recorded very high by the election department.

The Congress has strongly questioned the performance of the observers and micro-observers of Election Commission.

The party has slammed Rio of indulging in all sorts of undemocratic means to cling to power.

Even NPF insiders have admitted largescale proxy voting and election malpractices in the recently held elections and blamed Rio for indulging in undemocratic means to win the lone Lok Sabha seat.

In some places, the Congress’s polling agents were beaten and dragged out of the booths, including Chiechama village in Northern Angami-II Assembly constituency of chief minister Rio. “We will win if only genuine votes are counted,” Pusa said.

He said the Congress has compiled hundreds of pages of irregularities committed by the NPF and election officials, which will be submitted to the Election Commission and the returning officer.

“People are with the Congress and they want to bring a change in the state but it is the NPF which is indulging in undemocratic means,” the Congress candidate said.

He also questioned how the polling officials allowed people to vote more than 100 per cent in dozens of polling stations.

The people have criticised the Nagaland Baptist Church Council (NBCC), which has been spearheading the movement for a clean election, for remaining silent over the largescale malpractices in the polls.

The election department had also carried out massive awareness campaigns across the state prior to the polls urging people to come out and vote.

Chief electoral officer Sentiyanger Imchen said the high voting percentage in the elections was because of largescale proxy voting and election malpractices.

Nagaland has recorded a 88.57 per cent turnout this time. In several polling booths, people were caught casting multiple votes.

“The very purpose of introducing electoral photo identity cards (EPIC) failed,” said the Congress leader.