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Assam Elections: 90 Voters But 181 Votes Cast, ECI Suspends Poll Officers

Assam Elections: 90 Voters But 181 Votes Cast, ECI Suspends Poll Officers

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NEW DELHI, Apr 5: Five polling officials have been suspended after the Election Commission of India found that 181 votes had been cast at a booth in Dima Hasao district in Assam that had only 90 registered voters.

The booth is in the Haflong constituency that voted in the second phase on April 1 recording 74 per cent polling. The seat is currently held by the BJP’s Bir Bhadra Hagjer who won it in 2016 and is re-contesting.

Official sources said the booth was an auxiliary polling station for the main centre. Sources claimed that the voting irregularity was the result of the village chief refusing to accept the given voters list.

“The head of that interior village refused to accept the voters’ list and brought a list of his own. Then, the people of the village voted according to that list,” the official was quoted as saying, adding that it is unclear, at this time, why the suspended officials gave in to the village chief’s demand, or if there were any security personnel on site at the time.

The ECI citing “dereliction of duty” suspended the sector officer, presiding officer and all the three polling officers in the booth.

Only last week, the ECI ordered a re-polling in a booth in another constituency in Assam after the EVM machine was found in the car of the BJP candidate for the seat.

Assam is holding a three-phase Assembly election that began on March 27. The second phase was held last week and the third, and final, phase, is scheduled for Tuesday.

(Manas Dasgupta)

 

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