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‘Deprived’ voters in Arunachal stage dharna demanding re-poll

Deprived voters in Arunachal stage dharna demanding a re-poll, in Itanagar on Saturday. – Photo: Correspondent
 ITANAGAR, May 11 - More than one hundred people on Saturday staged a dharna in front of Nirvachan Bhavan here demanding another re-poll at Rakso polling station under Palin Assembly constituency in Kra Daadi district within seven days. Re-poll was held in 17 polling stations, including Rakso polling booth, spread across Kurung Kumey and Kra Daadi districts on April 27 last following complaints of electoral malpractices and technical glitches reported in use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter verifiable paper audit trails (VVPATs).

The agitating group under the banner of ‘Deprived Voters of Rakso Polling Station, Palin Assembly constituency’ claimed that over 150 genuine voters were not allowed to exercise their franchise during the re-poll held at Rakso polling station on April 27 last.

Seeking another re-poll at Rakso within a week’s time, the chairman of the deprived voters group, Biri Nianya claimed that there was booth capturing, beating up and threatening of the voters during the re-poll as the returning officer, sector magistrate, polling officers and police personnel on duty remained as mere spectators.

Claiming even the road to the Rakso polling station was blocked and stones were pelted at the voters, they demanded the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Arunachal Pradesh to conduct the re-poll at Koloriang in presence of chief observer and under strict vigilance and tight security.

They also demanded the Election Commission to disqualify the JD(U) candidate of Palin Assembly constituency for his alleged involvement in electoral malpractices.

Additional CEO Kanki Darang, when contacted, informed that all the grievances received, after scrutiny, have been forwarded to the ECI for taking a final call on the re-poll demand.

The deprived voters had on May 3 petitioned before the CEO, Arunachal Pradesh demanding re-poll at the said polling booth within seven days, failing which they threatened to launch democratic protest at Nirvachan Bhavan here.

They had claimed that the voting process was “disrupted” at Rakso polling station on both days of polling (April 11) and re-poll (April 27) with “genuine” voters being disallowed to cast their votes. They had further demanded that polling must be conducted at a neutral venue under strict vigilance and tight security.

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