Protest against irregularities in conduct of polls

Protest against irregularities in conduct of polls
People protest anomalies in election in Peren district on Monday

Kohima, March 5: People continue to protest against irregularities in the conduct of polls held recently, but the Election Commission of India (ECI) has packed its bags and left for New Delhi, after getting a pat on its shoulder from Governor P B Acharya for successful conduct of elections.
The ECI which is supposed to conduct polls in free and fair manner has failed to live up to the expectation of the voters and thereby lost its credibility which would not be easy for the Commission to recover immediately. The future of democratic process in the State is also at stake going by the inaction and overlooking of the numerous anomalies by the ECI.
Following the inaction of the ECI over allegations and complaints of anomalies, there is danger that elections in the State in the near future would get uglier.
Complains have poured in from places like Peren, Tening, Akuluto, Atoizu, Kiphire, Phek over poll irregularities but addressing the irregularities has become a far cry.
Thousands of people today took to the streets in Peren in protest against anomaly in the conduct of poll and demanded re-polling. Supporters of Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) demanded that re-poll be held.
NDPP candidate, Iherie Ndang in a letter to Chief Electoral Officer demanded for re-poll in Peren Assembly Constituency for iniquitous conduct of election norms uncovered on March 3 during the declaration of results.
Iherie who contested against Chief Minister, T R Zeliang in a letter stated that Peren constituency consists of 63 polling stations, including auxiliaries adding that prior to the start of polling on February 27, polling agents were not invited for mock poll by the presiding officer nor mock poll certificate received except for 36 polling stations. He said exercise of mock poll is crucial to authenticate the validity of the EVM, which was denied and the EVM was randomly used and tampered in favour of his opponent. He asked the CEO to consider the poll as null and void as it cannot be authenticated by the polling party as per the guidelines of the election rules.
He further claimed that many EVMs got non-functional and replaced in several polling stations which later got manipulated. “Jalukie town Sector-A 7/11 which is my stronghold was fully stage-managed leading to surprised result of 50-50 score percentage with my opponent” he added.
“The Account of Votes Recorded, Form 17C, as per Rules 49s and 56c (2) which is statutorily mandatory to be issued by the Presiding Officer after completion of the polling was not done in various stations,” Iherie alleged.
He went on to claim that during the sealing of the strong room his agents were neither informed nor invited so also when the Strong Room was opened his agents were not informed.
He complaint that in some polling stations there were multiple proxy voting and booth rigging like in Poilwa village, Poilwa New, Deukwaram, Samzuiuram A, B &C Sectors and Jalukie town. Also screening of ballot unit No. Used and replaced in the polling stations were randomly done without the knowledge of the polling agents and that counting officials were mostly NPF loyalists.
“It has been established that the Control Unit No. Of EVM for polling stations No. 7/44 and 7/53 was contradictory to the EVM radonmisation data issued by the Returning Officer and the Presiding Officer on the polling day. The inconsistency of t he total vote and total vote counted on the counting day was figured out as 1224 votes (votes counted 22809-21585) thereby making a difference of 1224” the NDPP candidate stated. (Page News Service)