EVM scan in Bengal Assembly bypoll zones
The chief electoral officer of Bengal on Friday wrote to the election officers in districts where Assembly bypolls are due to start the first level of checking of EVMs and VVPATs.
An official at Nabanna read significance in the initiative by the CEO, Ariz Aftab, as it came a day after a Trinamul Congress delegation had met the full bench of the Election Commission of India in New Delhi seeking immediate bypolls.
“This is significant as one can say that the EC has officially started proceedings to hold the bypolls in the state,” said a source.
In Bengal, bypolls are supposed to be held in seven Assembly segments because of deaths of candidates or resignation of sitting MLAs.
The bypolls became relevant only because Mamata Banerjee has to be elected by November 5 to continue as the chief minister.
The CEO on Friday wrote letters to the district election officers of Cooch Behar, Calcutta South, South 24-Parganas, North 24-Parganas and Nadia, asking them to start first level checking of the EVMs and VVPATs.
“In these five areas, bypolls are due in one segment each. In Murshidabad, bypolls have to be held in two segments,” said a source.
Sources said as elections were not held in Murshidabad, there was no need to check the EVMs and VVPATs.
“But in all other five segments, elections were held and later the seats fell vacant. So, EVMs have to be kept ready before the bypolls,” said a source.
A section of officials, however, said the first level of checking of EVMs and VVPATs did not mean that the bypolls would be held on time.
“The EC is keeping itself prepared. But holding of polls would depend on several other factors, like the Covid situation,” said a senior official.
The Election Commission on Friday issued a notification for a bypoll to a vacant Rajya Sabha seat in Bengal on August 9.
The bypoll was necessitated by the resignation of Dinesh Trivedi. The term of the seat is until 2026. The byelection will be held on August 9 and nominations will open on July 22.