Voters standing in queue during the assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh on April 11 Credit: File image

Itanagar: The Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) on Tuesday demanded that re-polling be held in the Raibalo polling station under the Palin Assembly constituency in Kurung Kumey district.

The Election Commission had on Monday announced re-polling across 18 polling booths spread across eight districts of the state where election malpractices, including booth capturing and attack on polling parties, were reported on April 11, the day when polling for the 60-seat assembly and two Lok Sabha seats was held simultaneously.

Also Read: Violence, booth capturing mar polls in Arunachal Pradesh

Alleging that there were capturing of votes and blatant violation of election procedure at the Raibalo polling station, the Congress in a representation submitted to the chief election commissioner on Tuesday said that the party’s election agent has already on April 11 lodged a complaint in front of the returning officer stating that the entire polling in the particular booth was done by some eight to nine persons and even one of the polling agents of the Congress had been kidnapped, tortured and later released.

“It is understood that the magistrate on duty was fully drunk and was sleeping the entire day as the polling was conducted. Also, as per the report of the Palin returning officer, the video camera which returned from the Raibalo polling station had no footage. This clearly indicates that the footage had been tampered with,” the Congress alleged.

The PCC said that according to the report of the returning officer which was made on the basis of presiding officer’s diary, only 35 to 40 people voted for all the voters of the area.

Also Read: ‘Cash for votes is an open secret in Arunachal Pradesh’

“There is also a difference in the amount of votes that were cast for Parliamentary and Assembly polls. The electronic voting machine has recorded 563 votes for the Lok Sabha and 546 for the Assembly polls as per the presiding officer’s report. Though there is no explanation given by the presiding officer on the difference in votes, the same has, however, been identified by the returning officer,” the Congress said.

Further stating that the ECI has already announced re-poll in the Sangram polling station which had recorded a similar case of difference in voting, the PCC said “the same should also apply for the Raibalo polling booth so as to restore the faith of the general public in the constitutionality and impartiality of the Commission”.

The PCC has, meanwhile, also appealed to the chief electoral officer to appoint presiding and polling officers who are from other districts instead of locals in the re-poll bound polling stations of Kurung Kumey and Kra Daadi districts.

Re-polling in 18 polling booths across the state would take place on Saturday.

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