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Nagaland Congress demands re-polling in over 1000 booths

By EMN Updated: Apr 23, 2014 11:30 pm

Principal Correspondent

THE Congress in Nagaland while alleging that massive proxy voting marred the April 9 Lok Sabha polls in the state, today asked the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to declare null and void the votes cast in over 1000 polling stations.Congress candidate for the lone LS seat in Nagaland, KV Pusa interacting with media-persons in presence of NPCC president SI Jamir here said that unprecedented proxy voting took place in the assembly constituencies represented by ruling NPF ministers and parliamentary secretaries.
Expressing that it was a well known fact that the voters turnout on the polling day was very less, he questioned the credibility of the polling officers in the state as 48 out of the 2049 polling stations reportedly have polled above hundred per cent while 986 polling stations had over 90% voting.
“Such heavy turnout is ridiculous, as there were hardly handful of electorates who had come out to exercise their franchise in almost all the polling stations,” he said.
Pusa also maintained that there are videographic evidences and compilation of documentary proves as per the records provided by the state Returning Officer on the votes polled throughout the state, adding that the overall heavy voters turnout of the state standing at 88.57% is because of electoral malpractice by party workers and government machineries on the day of polling.
He also stated that the webcams installed in 84 polling stations of the district headquarters also reveals mass proxy voting, but instead of taking suo-motto action the authorities are silent.
He cited that on the day of polling in a booth of his own sector (R. Khel) Viswema village, the voters turnout was barely 28% while in Z. Khel, the booths reported over 90%, which is not possible without rigging.
He said despite the model code of conduct issued by the Election Commission, there rampant anomalies have come up during the course of election.
He said during the process of election and on the day of polling, there was massive corruption, misuse of government machineries, nepotism and favouritism, which is all because of the non-governance and non-accountability of those at the helm of affairs.
He also cited there are proves of single person casting vote for the entire family while the in some village, the Village Councils issued directives to the electorates to submit their EPIC cards to the village leaders and they need not come to cast the vote.
“If the polling officials were forced to allow proxy voting, why not they could report the matter to the RO or CEO,” he questioned.
Pusa further lamented that even as Electoral Photo Identity (EPIC) card were issued people were allowed to cast their vote with just the electoral slip.
Appreciating the ECI slogan “One man one vote”, he however lamented that in many polling stations and villages such privilege was not given to the electorates as the cronies of political masters controlled the polling stations.
He said such activity is not good for Naga people, as money power going to rule the state at the cost of the rights of the Naga people.
Expressing fear that such malpractice and proxy vote would endanger the democratic process in the state, Pusa said the state Congress party has submitted a representation to the CEO Nagaland requesting him to declare elections in 1034, out of the 2048 polling stations as null and void or hold re-poll in those polling stations.
Supplementing Pusa, Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) president SI Jamir said Congress as a national party went to election as underdogs as we were eight against the 52 members of DAN.
He accepted that in the past too there have been electoral malpractices, but since the 2003 elections the NPF-led DAN it has become ‘unprecedented and untakeable’.
He said if such practices are not checked, the future of Naga people would be nowhere while also adding that upcoming young politicians should realise that they would not be able to serve the people as there would be no chance for their win unless such corruption is done away with.
He also said that village council is the model of devolution of powers to the grassroots, which has been copied by the Government of India and used as Panchayats, however the village councils are overacting with regard to electoral practices.
He also said that the state Congress party would leave for Delhi tomorrow to submit the same representation to the Election Commission.
The team would include KV Pusa, SI Jamir, Salanthung, Asu Keyho and other senior Congress leaders of the state.
Nagaland Commission and Returning Officer for LS Polls in the state, Temjen Toy on April 10 said that the scrutiny committee had not recommended re-poll in any of the polling stations, including Ladaigarh polling station in Longleng district where polling could not be held as Assam police did not allow entry of polling officials into the village.

By EMN Updated: Apr 23, 2014 11:30:20 pm