WB polls: Opposition questions EC delay in declaring final voter turnout

Opposition parties in West Bengal on Thursday questioned the Election Commission's delay in declaring the final voter turnout in the first part of the first phase Assembly poll.

PTI| Last Updated: Apr 07, 2016, 18:38 PM IST

Kolkata: Opposition parties in West Bengal on Thursday questioned the Election Commission's delay in declaring the final voter turnout in the first part of the first phase Assembly poll.

"How come it took so much time? The EC should take action. There is a mole in the Chief Electoral Officer's office. They have so much technology these days and yet how come it took 48 hours to release the figures?" CPI-M MP Md Salim said.

Yesterday the CEO's office released the final poll percentage figures, saying the voter turnout in 18 seats of Maoist hotbed of Jangalmahal on April 4 was 84.22 per cent.

At the end of polling on April 4, the poll panel had said the figure was above 81 per cent.

Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Pradip Bhattacharya said the rise in poll percentage had to be properly probed.

"There may be some manipulations. It needs to be investigated," he said, adding a complaint has already been sent to the EC.

Additional Chief Electoral Officer Dibyendu Sarkar, however, denied any chances of wrongdoing, arguing that the figures given on the polling day were "tentative".

"There is a system of SMS-based monitoring to get percentages from all constituencies. In some cases figures reach us late and so the final figure will change," he told PTI.

A day after polling, he said, the figures from all polling booths were compiled together to get the final voter turnout.

"This is done in the presence of general observers. While calculating it takes time," Sarkar explained.