Lok Sabha by-election: Re-poll recommended for 18 polling stations in Nagaland
State registers 75% voters turnout; seven arrested for violence at Kubza village in Mokokchung
Kohima, May 28 (EMN): Barring a few incidents here and there, the by-election to the lone Lok Sabha seat for Nagaland that was held on May 28 was stated to have been peaceful. The estimated voter turnout was 75% at the time this report was being filed.
The average 75% is out of 11,97,436 voters enrolled to exercise their franchise at 2196 polling stations across the state, according to the provisional figures that was provided.
Addressing media persons on Monday evening, Commissioner and Returning Officer (RO) Motsuthung Patton said that the overall situation was peaceful except for minor incidents in some pockets of the state.
While the deputy commissioner and RO of Mokokchung has recommended re-polling in ‘PS 26/13’ of Kubza vilage at 26th Aongle nden assembly constituency (AC) in Mokokchung district, complaints received from various political parties have recommended re-polling for 17 polling stations at Meluri in Phek district, and one polling station at Lerie colony in Kohima district.
However, Patton said that the final call for re-polling in said polling stations would be taken by the Election Commission of India after examining complaints forwarded through the state’s chief electoral officer.
Although there were reports of numerous instances of proxy voting, Patton said that the state’s election office was yet to receive any official complaint in this regard.
Seven arrested in 26th Aonglenden
It was informed that around 1:30 pm, around 70-80 people came to polling station-13 at Kubza village at 26th Aonglenden AC in Mokokchung district and forced their way in and smashed the ballot unit and control unit.
In this connection, Patton informed that seven persons have been arrested by the police and placed in custody. All precautionary measures to avoid further escalation have been taken, he said. Till the time this report was being filed, the situation was said to be under control.
Mokokchung DC, Sachin Jaiswal has lodged a complaint to the RO citing the incident at ‘PS 26/13 Kubza.’ At the time of the incident 85% voters had reportedly cast their votes and no votes were polled further.
The officer also said that the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips were intact in the machine after the incident. However the damage was reportedly to an extent that the result of the poll cannot be ascertained by the Electronic Voting Machine. The matter has been reported based on subsection- 1 of section 58 of the Representation of People’s Act of 1952, updates said.
As per complaints received from various quarters re-poll has been recommended for 17 polling stations. Meluri alone threw up 16.
According to the letter of complaint made available to media persons, re-polling has been demanded for Mollen village, Hutsu village, Yesi village, Kuzatu village, Shatuza village, and Yesisotha village at 20th Meluri AC in Phek district. The letter of complaint was filed by Eduzu Theluo, the general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Nagaland unit.
The complaint was addressed to the Returning Officer (RO). It cited that genuine voters supporting the People’s Democratic Alliance’s candidate were not allowed to exercise their voting rights in the mentioned villages.
Complaints were also received from a Naga People’s Front election agent and another person in 20th Meluri AC demanding re-polling at 10 polling booths. It was alleged that Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) supporters from Meluri, Khumiasu and Lephori village deprived NPF supporters of exercising their franchise.
The re-polling has been recommended for the stations Meluri Christian khel-a, Meluri Christian khel-b; Meluri non-Christian khel, Riehoupe, Meluri town a, b, c and d wing; Khumiasu village and Lephori village.
Another complaint filed by S Akho Leyri, the NPF’s election agent, has demanded re-polling for 38th PS in Lerie Colony of Kohima. It stated that NPF supporters were not allowed to cast their votes without voter’s slip in spite of producing other relevant documents approved by the ECI.
The complainant alleged that the booth-level officer was ‘extremely biased’ and gave voters’ slips to supporters of the NDPP candidates only. The polling officer was accused of not allowing the voters who did not bring voters’ slip although they had other relevant documents approved by the ECI.
Peaceful polling in Ladigarh
Patton said polling at Ladigarh in Tamlu in Longleng district, which falls in the disputed area between Nagaland and Assam, was peaceful. It registered 80% voter-turnout. The poll, he said, was conducted in a makeshift polling station.
Scrutiny in all the assembly constituencies, he informed, will be held on May 29 at 11 am in all the 12 election district headquarters while counting of votes will be on May 31. If any re-poll is to be held, it has been scheduled for May 30.