88.1% polling registered in by-polls

88.1% polling registered in by-polls
Womenfolk in a queue outside a polling station under 14- southern Angami-I constituency on Tuesday. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, NOV 3 (NPN) | Publish Date: 11/3/2020 12:25:59 PM IST


By-polls to the two Assembly constituencies- 14 Southern Angami-I and 60 Pungro-Kiphire passed off peacefully barring a stray incident on Tuesday amidst tight security and following COVID protocols.

Around 88.1 per cent of the total 43,242 voters exercised their franchise in the by-election to two assembly seats, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Abhijit Sinha said. Polling was held at 22 polling stations under 14 Southern Angami constituency which recorded 84.41% voting, while 77 polling stations under 60 Pungro-Kiphire registered 89.80% polling. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 10.

Addressing media persons in the evening, Sinha said voting began at 6 a.m. and ended at 4 p.m. Webcast and static video recordings were done in all the polling booths to ensure free and fair elections, the CEO said. 

Sinha said that the entire polling process was by and large peaceful without any major untoward incident, except at no. 11 Singrep polling station under 60 Pungro-Kiphire constituency, where polling was adjourned during the first hour following a scuffle outside the polling booth. He said following the official complaint from the returning officer, a report was sent to Election Commission of India (ECI) from whom a re-poll directive was awaited.

There were also complaints and counter complaints from the ruling NDPP and opposition NPF under Southern Angami-I seat.

NDPP had earlier complained that genuine voters were not being allowed to enter the perimeter by NPF party functionaries. In a complaint letter addressed to the District Election Officer Kohima, NDPP demanded re-poll at the particular polling station since normal electioneering process was not allowed to proceed. 

However, NDPP later withdrew their complaint on the request of the public, NDPP general secretary Benjamin Lorin stated.

On the other NPF had alleged that senior NDPP functionary and some MLAs tried to disturb the polling by entering into the polling stations. 

NPF alleged that some ruling party legislators had violated the Election Code of Conduct and said that instead of demanding for re-poll, the members who visited the polling station should be dealt strictly as per the provisions of law and book accordingly.

Following receipt such complaints, that voters were not being allowed to vote in Jakhama under 14 Southern Angami constituency, the CEO claimed that deputy commissioner, district election officer and superintendent of police visited the place and found the situation normal.

Sinha informed the media that flying squads and Static surveillance teams were active in both the constituencies and so far seizures had been made worth Rs 14,21,000.

To queries on alleged tearing of identity badges at Singrep village as was being circulated in social media, the CEO clarified there was no report of any such incident, adding that offline videography was arranged and that the commotion occurred outside the polling station.

On visit of PDA advisers to 14 Southern Angami, Sinha remarked that visit by “outsiders” (who were not voters of the constituency) after campaigning period concluding at 4 p.m. on November 1 was not correct and a violation of model code of conduct (MCC). 

He said a complaint was received and had been forwarded to the returning officer.

NDPP/PDA consensus candidate Medo Yhokha, NPF’s Kikovi Kirha and Independent candidate Seyievilie Peter Zashumo contested for the 14-Southern Angami-I seat. 

In the five cornered contest for by-poll to 60 Pungro-Kiphire, BJP’s Lirimong Sangtam, Khaseo Anar of the Congress and Independent candidates-- K Shellumthong, T Yangseo Sangtam and Kiusumew Yimchunger were in the fray. 


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