CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat met the chief election commissioner on March 3rd evening seeking his intervention to ensure that counting is resumed in three booths of 23-Dhanpur assembly constituency of Tripura from where chief minister Manik Sarkar is contesting. Counting was stopped following the BJP’s objections.
The CEC has assured that he will take immediate action according to the rules.
The CPI(M) leaders brought to the notice of the CEC that counting of polling booths No. 42, 43 and 47 were stopped. The BJP candidate had demanded re-poll in these booths on the plea that there are no signatures of polling agents of BJP in the control units of these booths, though the signatures of the presiding officer and the polling agents of other parties are there.
Clearly this is a ruse to disrupt the counting process since the BJP candidate is trailing, the CPI(M) leaders said and added they have got reports that with the help of ITBP, counting agents of the CPI(M) are being driven out from the counting centre leaving Manik Sarkar alone, who is being gheraoed and heckled by the BJP agents.
The CPI(M) leaders said this is a clear violation of counting procedures and sought immediate intervention of the CEC to ensure the continued counting of votes of the above-mentioned polling booths and for more transparency alongside the counting of VVPAT slips of these booths.
(As a result, the counting was resumed in the night on March 3 – Ed)