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UDP candidate seeks enquiry into abnormal voting turnout
Correspondent SHILLONG, APR 29:
Published on 30 Apr. 2009 12:09 AM IST
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United Democratic Party (UDP) from Shillong parliamentary seat John F Kharshiing on Wednesday asked the Election Commission to conduct an enquiry into the abnormal high turnout of voting in more than 40 polling stations in Meghalaya’s coal-rich district of Jaintia Hills. In a compliant lodged to Chief Election Commissioner Naveen Chawla, Kharshiing, the consensus candidate of Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) coalition said that the entire Jaintia Hills district polled only 63.87 per cent, while some polling stations had polling above normal ranging from 80 per cent to 100.36 per cent. The Shillong parliamentary seat went to poll on April 16. Quoting official documents of the election, the UDP candidate claimed that polling stations like Deinshyrum polling station under Khliehriat Assembly constituency registered 282 votes polled against the total of 281 votes. Likewise, he claimed in many other polling booths the UDP witnessed a very unusual abnormal high turnout of polling. Therefore, Kharshiing said that he had suggested the Election Commission to direct observers, returning officer, assistant returning officer, micro observers, video personnel, presiding and polling officers to file their reports. The UDP candidate also claimed that his party has specific information that in many polling booths, “only a few Congress miscreants who have managed to control the polling cast votes on behalf of the genuine voters.” Expressing surprise on the inadequate security provisions to ensure the free and fair polling in Jaintia Hills district, Kharshiing claimed that the election authorities had deployed in all the polling booths of the district, where force, money and muscle power is normal practice in every election. Earlier, Returning Officer of Shillong parliamentary constituency B Dhar denied of any such malpractice during the polling. Relevant documents have been examined and verified, Dhar, however, said that there are no prima-facie evidence of booth capturing.

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