New Delhi: Acting on the allegations of Opposition parties of massive booth capturing and false voting in Tripura, the Election Commission of India ordered repolling in 168 polling stations in 26 assembly constituencies of Tripura (West) constituency.
"Polls taken on April 11 at 168 polling stations of the Tripura West Parliamentary constituency declared void. Repolls to be held on 12th May from 7 am to 5 pm," Election Commission said in a statement. The repolling will be held from 7am-5pm on May 12.
Tripura West parliamentary seat had recorded over 81 per cent of voter turnout when the constituency went to polls on April 11.
On April 19, Congress and CPI(M) in Tripura approached the poll panel and complained of massive poll rigging and booth capturing in Tripura West constituency.
CPI-M general secretary, Sitaram Yechuri alleged that more than 460 booths out of the total 1679 in West Tripura were 'rigged, voters were intimidated and forced to leave the booths and the agents of Left political parties were not allowed to enter inside the booths by the BJP workers'.
"Central forces were not seen in the booths. They were entirely absent and it was possible due to the collaboration of the central and the state government. We have demanded repolling in 460 booths," Yechuri had said in a press conference.
Congress candidate Subal Bhowmick accused BJP workers of intimidating and threatening voters. "We have demanded the immediate resignation of DGP, A K Shukla and Chief Electoral Officer Sriram Taranikanti because police acted as silent spectators when booths were rigged before their eyes by BJP workers," he said in a press conference.
Leader of the Opposition in Tripura Assembly Manik Sarkar said, "BJP workers intimidated voters. We could not field polling agents in many booths. We have a strong organisation in the entire state and if we cannot field polling agents, then you can understand the situation."
However, BJP candidate and party general secretary of Tripura Pratima Bhowmick denied the allegations of Congress and CPI-M. Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said "people exercised their franchise in a festive mood and voting was completely peaceful.