Agartala: Following the announcement of re-polls on May 12 for 168 polling stations across Tripura West constituency, the Left Front and Tripura Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) expressed discontent over the decision of the Election Commission of India (ECI) after incidents of massive rigging on April 11.

Although the Left Front welcomed the decision of ECI, Sankar Prasad Datta, the CPI (M) candidate for Tripura West Lok Sabha constituency, filed a petition with the Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon demanding re-election in the entire Tripura West Lok Sabha constituency.

“The decision of re-polling in 168 polling stations, which comprise just 10% of the total polling stations, had disappointed the electors of the constituency as there were massive rigging. Half of the voters were forced to go out of the queues by suspected workers of the ruling party,” said Left Front state convenor Bijan Dhar in a press conference at the CPI (M) state headquarters in Agartala on Wednesday evening.

“The CPI(M) time and again met with the full bench of the ECI in New Delhi and the CEO in Tripura demanding re-election in the entire Tripura West Lok Sabha constituency. The measures followed by the commission had gave a hope among the electors and political parties that re-polling in the entire constituency might take place as election on April 11 was a ‘farce’ completely,” Dhar added.

Meanwhile, TPCC president Pradyot Kishore Manikya DebBarman said that the decision of the ECI to declare polls in 168 polling booths as void out of the total 1,679 and conducting re-polling in the same number is disappointing as the opposition have been demanding a fresh poll after mass rigging that took place in the constituency.

“The number in which re-polling would take place is too less compared the what the opposition had demanded, but even then Congress will not leave the ground empty for them [BJP] and will give a neck-to-neck fight to BJP, and we are also confident to get a massive lead at every booth,” said DebBarman.

He added that the Congress will also file a petition in the Supreme Court against the ECI for over-ruling the returning officer’s report which clearly said the poll process in 433 polling stations was vitiated.

DebBarman said that it has decided to write to the ECI and seek the video footage and make it public so that even we can go through the videos for our satisfaction and bring the truth in front of the public.

The state Congress will also take legal actions against those observers and the micro observers whoever had submitted false reports during the first phase of polls on April 11.

The BJP had appreciated the CEO and RO after the polls on April 11 but now all of a sudden they are raising allegation against the CEO for his action against them, the party added.

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