The decision of the Election Commission on Wednesday to conduct repolling in 168 booths in West Tripura constituency has "fallen short of expectations", the CPI(M) said and claimed that a substantial number of voters has been denied their right to vote due to rigging.
It was after several complaints by political parties that the poll body ordered a repoll at 168 of the 1,679 polling stations, almost a month after polls were held in West Tripura seat on April 11.
The EC said that repoll in polling stations spread over 26 of the 30 assembly segments of the Lok Sabha constituency will be held on May 12.
"The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) expresses its deep sense of disappointment over the Election Commission of India's order to hold the elections void in 168 booths for the Tripura West parliamentary constituency and hold re-poll in these booths. There had been widespread rigging and prevention of voters exercising their franchise by the ruling BJP during polls held on April 11.
"We firmly hold that this order is not in consonance with the ground reality and obviously too little and too late in ensuring a free and fair poll where more than half the electorate was actually unable to exercise their right to vote," a statement from the party said.
Alleging that the EC had only "partially" considered the complaints made by political parties and individuals about large-scale rigging and illegality, the statement said that the order will "signal, on the one hand, acknowledgement of rigging on a major scale and yet falling short of the expectations that the ECI will deliver justice for the voters of the constituency who could not cast their votes."
"Nothing short of a re-poll for the entire Tripura West parliamentary constituency will serve the purpose of a free and fair poll and protecting the rights of the voters," it said.
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