Guwahati: Five polling officials were suspended in Assam after the Election Commission found that total 181 votes were cast in a booth in the Haflong constituency of Dima Hasao district, even though 90 people were eligible to exercise their franchise. Notably, the booth is in the Haflong constituency, which went to the polls in the second phase on April 1. The constituency represented by the BJP’s Bir Bhadra Hagjer recorded only 74 per cent polling. Also Read - Assam Assembly Elections 2021: EC announces Re-polling at 4 Booths in 3 Constituencies on April 20
Stating ‘dereliction of duty’, the EC suspended sector officer Seikhosiem Lhangum, presiding officer Prahlad Ch Roy, first polling officer Parameswar Charangsa, second polling officer Swaraj Kanti Das and third polling officer Lalzamlo Thiek with immediate effect. “As per the valid electoral roll, there are only 90 electors in this polling station…total 181 votes were cast at polling station No 107-A on April 1, 2021,” Chief Electoral Officer Nitin Khade said in a statement. Also Read - West Bengal Elections Highlights: EC Bars Politicians From Violence-Hit Cooch Behar District For 3 Days
The incident came to light during the scrutiny of the presiding officer’s diary and other documents, he added. Also Read - RT-PCR Test Mandatory For Passengers Flying to Assam From Mumbai, Karnataka | Check Details Here
Following the irregularities, the poll body is expected to issue a re-poll order for the booth, which was an auxiliary polling station of the main voting centre at Mouldam LP School. An official order to this effect is yet to be issued.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Rhituporna Konwar has alleged that the Election Commission is “not serious” about holding free and fair elections in the state. “If the EC was serious, it would have announced a re- poll at the booth by now as it is already four days since the polling took place. We demand immediate announcement of the re-polling at that particular centre,” he added.
(With agency inputs)