From a Correspondent
AGARTALA, February 21: In the run-up to the counting of votes in Tripura, slated for March 3, the ruling CPI(M) has demanded counting of VVPAT slips in 13 Assembly constituencies to ensure tallying with EVM results. Interestingly the 13 constituencies include Dhanpur and Bamalipur from where Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and the BJP State President Biplab Deb are locking horns.
Polling for the 60-member Tripura Assembly was held on February 18 and counting of votes will be taken up on March 3 along with Meghalaya and galand.
The party also alleges serious violation of Peoples’ Representative Act 1951 in many several constituencies during the polling on February 18 and demanded a thorough probe.
Meanwhile, the demand for counting of VVPAT slips by the CPI(M) has evoked serious repercussion across the State forcing the CPI(M) State secretary Bijon Dhar to issue a statement that party has demanded VVPAT slip counting only in constituencies where maximum EVM disorder was reported on the election day. Dhar stated that out of the 3174 polling stations EVM disorder was reported from 519 booths which constitute 16.35 % of the total number of booths.
He also reiterated the party’s confidence on winning a comfortable majority and urged the media to refrain from misguiding the people. The statement is being viewed by some political observers as an attempt to keep party workers’ morel high.
A delegation of the party, led by CPI(M) central secretariat member Nilotpal Basu, on Tuesday met the Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat at Delhi and submitted the memorandum on behalf of the party’s Tripura State committee. The Chief Election Commissioner reportedly assured to consider their demand with priority.
Apart from Dhanpur and Bamalipur, the 11 other constituencies where the CPI(M) has demanded VVPAT slip counting include Panisagar, Sim, Dharmagar, Takarjala, Radhakishorpur, Matabari, Bagma, Asharambari, Mohonpur, Mandai Bazar and Suryamani gar.
The party also demanded re-polling in three polling booths of Takarjala constituency from where rendra Chandra Debbarma, president of IPFT, an alliance partner of BJP, is contesting. They alleged that in the said three polling booths CPI(M) supporters were not allowed to go to the polling stations and besides other acts of intimidation.
The memorandum figured the mes of two ministers of Assam who were staying in Tripura after the campaign was over violating the Peoples’ Representative Act 1951. They are Himanta Biswa Sharma and Pallab Lochan Das.