171 Votes Cast in Assam Booth That Has Only 90 Registered Voters

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Polling in Assam elections 2021

As the incident came to light, the District Election Officer suspended five poll officials of the booth

Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Showing a massive irregularity and lack of sense of duty on the part of election officials at a polling booth in Assam during second phase of polling, a total 171 votes were cast where 90 people were eligible to exercise their franchise, it is reported.

According to a PTI report, the booth is in the Haflong constituency in Assam’s Dima Hasao district, which went to the polls in the second phase on April 1. Haflong witnessed 74 per cent polling.

As the incident came to light, the District Election Officer suspended five poll officials of the booth, set up at 107(A) Khotlir LP School, and proposed a re-poll, says the report.

Strangely, the official order for re-election at the booth, an auxiliary polling station of the main voting centre at Mouldam LP School, is yet to be issued.

The suspension order by the Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer of Dima Hasao was issued on April 2, the next day of polling, but it came to light on Monday.

Stating “dereliction of duty”, the Election Commission suspended Seikhosiem Lhangum (Sector Officer), Prahlad Ch Roy (Presiding Officer), Parameswar Charangsa (1st Polling Officer), Swaraj Kanti Das (2nd Polling Officer) and Lalzamlo Thiek (3rd Polling Officer) with immediate effect.

The voters’ list of the polling station had 90 names, but 171 votes were cast in the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), PTI was told by officials.

“The head of that interior village refused to accept the voters’ list and brought a his own list. Then, the people of the village voted according to that list,” PTI quoted an official as saying.

However, it remains a mystery as to how and why the polling officials accepted the village head’s demand and whether there was any security personnel present at the polling station or the role they played.

(With agency inputs)

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