Kohima, May 29: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has declared the votes cast at Polling Station No. 13-Kubza of 26-Aonglenden Assembly segment in Mokokchung district as void and fixed repoll to be conducted on Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In a letter to Chief Electoral Officer, Nagaland, the ECI Secretary Arvind Anand said that on the basis of reports submitted, and after taking all material circumstances into account, the Commission declared fresh poll under Sub-Section (2) of Section 58 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 that the poll taken on May 28 at polling station No. 13-Kubza to be void and fixed May 30 as the date for taking a fresh poll from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
It may be mentioned here that in Kubza PS No. 13, a mob reportedly entered the booth and damaged the EVM machine while the Deputy Commission had officially recommended for re-poll. Police has arrested seven persons in this connection.
At the time of incident at around 1:10PM, around 70-80 people came to the polling station and forcefully smashed the ballot unit and control unit. However, the VVPAT is reportedly intact, he said.
“85% votes were casted and no votes were polled further,” reported the DC and ARO Mokokchung, Sachine Jaiswal in his report.
In addition to Kubza, the ECI stated that there are 10 polling stations where the Presiding Officers did not clear the votes cast during mock poll from the Control Unit.
The Polling Stations include PS Nos. 6 and 49 in 21-Tuli Assembly segment, PS No 6 in 39-Sanis A/C, PS No 21 in 19-Phek A/C, PS Nos 28 and 30 in 29-Janpetkong A/C, PS No. 36 in26-Aonglenden A/C, PS 45 in 5- Ghaspani A/C, PS 43 in 49-Tamlu A/C and PS 50 in 37-Tyui A/C.
However, the Commission maintained that since the VVPAT Voter Slips of the mock poll were taken out, sealed, properly accounted and kept in separate special envelope there is no need to go for re-poll as counting can be correctly done by counting of VVPAT slips in case of the stated Polling Stations.
Nonetheless, the ECI has given following methods to be adopted for counting of votes in such Polling Stations:- (a) The votes would be counted through VVPAT slips of actual poll, where VVPAT slips of mock poll have not been kept in strong room. (b) Where VVPAT slips of mock poll have been kept in sealed envelope in strong room along with EVMs/VVPAT & other material, there is no need to count all the VVPAT slips.
In order to save time and errors, the ECI also gave the following procedure: The number of votes polled may be counted from CU; After that VVPAT slips of mock poll (kept in sealed envelope) may be counted; In order to reach the final figure, the number of votes polled to each candidate in Mock Poll may be deducted from that of CU.
Meanwhile, with regard to the demands of NPF and BJP for conduct of repoll in 17 polling stations (16 in Meluri and one in Kohima), Additional CEO N Moa Aier said that the respective Deputy Commissioner and Assistant Returning Officers along with the observers checked each complaint during the scrutiny today and decided not to recommend for re-poll. However, the reasons were not revealed.
Counting of votes will be taken up May 31 in 13 centres across the state, which include: DC office Dimapur, Peren- Old DC office, Peren Town, Kohima- DC office, Pughoboto- DB’s Court, Phek- New DC Office, Mokokochung- Town Hall, Zunheboto- Town Hall, Wokha- Tiyi Hall, Tsumang colony, Mon- DC Office complex, Longleng- DC Office, Tuensang- CKS Hall, Tuensang, Kiphire- DC office and office of Commissioner for counting of postal ballots. (Page News Service)