Dehradun: With elections being fought on a
razor-edge victory margin in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister B C
Khanduri has asked the Election Commission (EC) to probe the
reportedly large number of undelivered postal ballots.
Concerned over the anti-incumbency factor, Khanduri has
asked the EC to look into undelivered postal ballots which he
claimed were around 50 per cent.
"Why 50 per cent postal ballots were returned
undelivered? The Election Commission should order a probe into
the matter," he said.
Uttarakhand Chief Electoral Officer Radha Raturi,
however, said only 25 per cent of the one lakh postal ballots
received were returned undelivered.
This time over 1.19 lakh people, including over a lakh
army personnel, are casting their votes through ballot papers,
which would continue till 8 AM of March 6 when the votes will
be counted, Raturi said.
Senior Congress leader Satpal Maharaj, who is one of the
main contenders for the post of chief minister, has asked the
EC to appoint separate observers for counting of postal
"We apprehend that there may be illegal postal ballots.
So the commission must appoint those observers who have
thorough knowledge of the postal ballot procedures," Maharaj
said in a letter to the EC.
BJP on the other hand has dismissed these apprehensions
of Congress as merely a "fear factor."
"Congress knows we are better placed. So they are
enacting a new drama because of an obvious fear factor," said
a state BJP spokesperson.
Postal ballots could play a crucial role in as many as 20
constituencies out of the total 70 in the hill state where
Assembly elections were held on January 30.