Re-polling in Cachar, Karimganj, Nalbari: Assam election panel

“72 per cent polling recorded in second phase till 5pm”

GUWAHATI: Assam State Election Commission on Sunday informed that re-polling will be held in three districts – Cachar, Karimganj and Nalbari – out of the 10 districts where the second phase panchayat elections were held on Sunday.

The commission informed that the polling percentage in the second phase was 72 per cent till 5pm even as polling was under way in many centres in Barpeta, Bilasipara, Dhubri and South Salmara and likely to extend till 10pm.

Addressing reporters here on Sunday evening, the state election commissioner, H.N Bora said, “According to reports from the respective deputy commissioners, repolling will be held in seven to eight centres of Cachar, six to eight centres of Karimganj and one centre at Nalbari on December 11. However, there will be no repolling in the other districts.”

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Bora said Dhubri district recorded 86 per cent polling, which is the highest, followed by South Salmara at 80 per cent, according to reports from the deputy commissioners till 5pm.

“Cachar recorded 72 per cent polling, Hailakandi where there was no untoward incident recorded 71 per cent polling while Karimganj recorded 70 per cent polling till 5pm. Hojai recorded 70 per cent polling while heavy voting is under way in as many as 900 centres (till 6pm) in Barpeta, which had till 3pm recorded 63 per cent polling,” he said.

Asked about the reasons for repolling in the three districts, the state election commissioner said, “From what we have been told verbally, incidents of group clashes leading to snatching of ballot boxes and tearing of ballot papers were reported in Cachar and Karimganj districts. In Nalbari, a presiding officer had issued wrong ballot paper, it was reported.”

The second phase election on Sunday was held in many as 10,617 constituencies under 10 districts. “Elections in the second phase were held for 169 zila parishad council (ZPC) member posts, 885 anchalik panchayat council (APC) member posts, 895 gaon panchayat president posts and 8.670 gaon panchayat member posts,” Bora informed.

Asked about the written complaints alleging violation of election code of conduct against the PMO, chief minister and a senior minister, the state election commissioner said, “The complaint against the PMO is being examined whether it constitutes a violation of the election code of conduct and a decision will be taken after the poll process. On the other two complaints, we have sought reports from the state government.”

The poll official also said that a few other complaints against code violations have been sent to the respective deputy commissioners for action after inquiry.

The commission further informed that counting of votes will take place from 8am on December 12, for which all arrangements including security have been made.

“To speed up counting, we have advised the districts to have one counting hall (manned by about 40 poll personnel) for every ZPC. The counting halls will be under CCTV surveillance and so will be the strong rooms,” Bora said.

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