Agartala: Re-polling in 168 booths in 26 Assembly segments under Tripura West parliamentary constituency will be held on May 12, an Election Commission (EC) official said here on Wednesday.
An EC letter to Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Taranikanti said that on the basis of reports of the CEO, Special Observer, General Observers and the Returning Officer, the Commission has declared the April 11 voting at 168 polling stations to be void and appoints May 12 as the date for holding fresh polls.
The official said that the Union Home Ministry has already deployed 15 companies of Central Para-Military Forces (CPMF) for re-polling in the Tripura West Lok Sabha seat where voting took place on the first phase of polling on April 11.
The opposition Congress and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has been demanding fresh polling in the entire Tripura West Parliamentary Constituency after they alleged large-scale rigging, booth capturing, intimidation and attacks by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and their goons.
The ruling BJP, however, dismissed the accusations and demanded removal of CEO Taranikanti, accusing him of being a “conspirator”.
Allegations of malpractices, intimidation and violence on April 11 polling in the seat forced the EC to appoint former Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi as Special Observer for Tripura to inquire the polling process and removed Returning Officer Sandeep Mahatme and Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Rajiv Singh.
The CEO had earlier said that an unprecedented number of election officials were suspended from service and a huge number of FIRs were filed by the Assistant Returning Officers against Micro Observers, Presiding, Polling Officers and political activists who either indulged in malpractices or remained as spectators during the polling.