Akhakhu casts 44 excess votes; Naltoqa casts 11 EDC
PPC and ENPO agree on makeshift PS for Ladaigarh
KOHIMA, MAY 8
THE outcome of the Nagaland Congress’ complaint with the Election Commission of India (ECI), will see re-polling to Akhakhu Polling Station No. 2 and Naltoqa Poling Station No. 25 under 33 Suruhoto Assembly Constituency necessitated because of excess voting on April 9.
Talking to this correspondent here today, Returning Officer for the Lok Sabha election in Nagaland, Temjen Toy, revealed that the ECI had taken serious view of the complaint lodged by the Nagaland Congress. The RO said the ECI had asked him to scrutinize the vote cast of polling stations exceeding 95% voters turnout and also those which had only one or no polling agents and webcasting arrangements.
Considering the criteria, he said a total of 949 polling stations out of the 2058 (excluding Ladaigarh) had been listed out for proper scrutiny, which was conducted in the presence of political parties in his office on May 3 and 4 last.
He said after proper scrutiny, nothing was found to be wrong in 947 booths, but for the two there were some serious anomalies.
He revealed, Akhakhu PS with a total of 720 electorates had 44 excess entries on the poll day taking the total to 764 votes cast. The excess was because the votes were cast against the deleted names on the electoral roll.
At Naltoqa, he said that 11 votes were cast against the electorates on polling duty, who had been issued with Election Duty Certificate (EDC). EDC is issued to those persons going out for poll duty and they are allowed to exercise their franchise in any of the polling stations by presenting it before the polling officer.
Meanwhile, Toy also revealed that the state Election Department considering the graveness of the excess votes cast has written to the Election Commission to take action against the two polling officials under whose supervision the votes were cast in the two booths.
He also revealed that out of the 949 polling stations, only Longleng Town PS No. 21 had been covered by webcasting. “The webcasting record of the polling station was also thoroughly checked and no anomaly was found,” he added.
Commenting on the adjourned Ladaigarh PS No. 1 under Tamlu A/C in Longleng district, he said that the state has written several times to the ECI to give us a hearing considering the border dispute. However, no action has been taken, he said.
Asked whether polling would be held at the Ladaigarh Government LP School, he said the ECI in its order has notified that polling should be held in a temporary structure at a nearby location not falling within the disputed area between the two states.
He also revealed that he had a joint meeting with Phom Peoples’ Council (PPC) and Eastern Nagaland People’s Organisation (ENPO) in Kohima today and discussed about problem of conducting poll at Ladaigarh PS.
He said that after thorough deliberation, the PPC and ENPO have also agreed to conduct the poll in a make-shift arrangement, provided it is within Ladaigarh. Toy said that the final decision on the temporary structure has not been taken, but it is being looked upon.
Further, the RO also said that for the smooth, free and fair conduct of the polls in the three booths the available forces of the state would be utilized.
Re-polling to the three polling stations will take place on May 10 from 7am to 4pm.