APCC sniffs rigging in Dhemaji bye-poll

By our Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, April 21: Was the recently held election in Dhemaji LAC in Assam a bye-poll or a straw poll?  To its dismay, the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has questioned as to how there could be 85 more votes than the total number of votes cast.  

In a statement issued to the press today, APCC senior spokesperson Apurba Kumar Bhattacharya said: “The document signed by the Dhemaji District Election Authority on April 9 after the bye-poll stated 1,49,944 votes to have been polled. While counting the votes on April 13, it was found in the description paper issued by the district authority that 1,50,029 votes were cast in the bye-poll. This means that 85 votes were cast more than what the election authority stated earlier. How can that be? In the run-up to the election, a BJP MLA distributed cash among voters openly. We did lodge a protest against that before the Election Commission, but to little avail. There had been glitches with EVMs in as many as 43 poll centres, besides large-scale rigging. The increase in the number of votes cast has proved the allegations of rigging. We demand of the State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to intervene into the matter in the interests of transparency.”

Congress candidate Babul Sonowal, who was defeated by a small margin, has already lodged his protest with the district authority. The party will take its decision on legal course on the issue only after receiving response to Babul Sonowal’s plea to Dhemaji district authority.

Sentinel Assam