Janata Dal-United (JDU)’s MLA candidate Dikto Yekar (right) addressing a press conference in Itanagar on Friday Credit: EastMojo image

Itanagar: Dikto Yekar, the Janata Dal United (JDU)’s MLA candidate, on Friday called upon the Election Commission to conduct re-poll at the Soki/Doni polling station in Daporijo Assembly constituency under Upper Subansiri district where five “dead people” allegedly voted and 17 others were not allowed to exercise their franchise.

Addressing a news conference at the Press Club in Itanagar, Yekar, who is the sitting MLA from the Daporijo constituency, said that “votes were cast in the name of five people who are dead while 17 people were deprived from casting their votes on April 11 at the Soki/Doni polling booth”.

Yekar alleged that opposition candidate from BJP, Tanya Soki, was inside the said polling booth for more than an hour during the polling day which clearly indicates that there was some foul play.

Yekar further said: “None of our polling agents was allowed to cast vote. On scrutiny of Form 17(A), it was confirmed that 321 out of 323 voters, including 14 through postal ballot cast their votes at the polling station. If 17 voters could not cast their vote, how could the total turnout be 321 at Soki/Doni. Besides, someone cast votes in the name of five voters who had died. This is ridiculous.”

Yekar said that he also met the state chief electoral officer on Friday to discuss the matter, however, “he refused to listen”.

“Later, we met the additional CEO who said that the issue can only be discussed in the presence of the district election officer (DEO) or returning officer (RO) of the district,” he said.

Talin Lusi Sorum, the election agent of JDU, said that, the state election commission should immediately carry out an enquiry on the issue involving the RO, DEO, polling agents and the officials concerned and accordingly order for a fresh poll.

“If the issue is not solved we will opt for a legal battle,” Sorum said adding that they have all the substantial documents to prove their claim against Soki and the same has also been submitted to the additional CEO and Upper Subansiri DEO.

Sorum said he along with Congress’s polling agent for Lok Sabha poll Nyabin Soki was also not allowed to cast vote on the day. “As we were not allowed to cast our votes I requested the RO to install a CCTV inside the polling booth. My request, however, was ignored,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ruhi Tagung, the state convener for JDU, has also strongly condemned the alleged foul play carried on by the opposition and demanded that an inquiry be initiated to look into the matter.

Earlier on Thursday, the people who were deprived of voting had taken out a mass protest rally at the Daporijo Township demanding a re-poll to be held in the Soki/Doni polling booth.

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 will be held on Saturday.

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