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65 per cent turnout in Chhatarpur repoll

Repolling held at two booths in Chhatarpur,where Election Commission officials had come across discrepancies in Thursday’s polling,recorded a turnout of close to 65 per cent.

Repolling held at two booths in Chhatarpur,where Election Commission officials had come across discrepancies in Thursday’s polling,recorded a turnout of close to 65 per cent.

During scrutiny,the officials had found 98 per cent polling in one of the booths in Fatehpur Beri,with at least 38 persons casting votes up to three times.

Congress candidate Ramesh Kumar,his brother Sajjan Kumar and BJP candidate Ramesh Bidhuri camped in Fatehpur Beri for the entire day. Bidhuri alleged the hand of BSP candidate Kanwar Singh Tanwar in the discrepancies.

“Fatehpuri Beri is Tanwar’s own village. It is quite possible BSP is behind the incident,” said Bidhuri.

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Polling booth nos. 64 and 64 (A) at an MCD school together had 1,600 voters enlisted with them. The Election Commission became suspicious when they found that at booth 64,704 votes had been polled out of the total of 720 votes.

“It seems that polling officials at booth 64 got the entire list of 1,600 voters and someone misused this to cast their vote at both booths,” said a senior official.

Vivek Pandey,the returning officer of South Delhi,has ordered an inquiry into the incident and an FIR will be registered.

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Tanwar,meanwhile,claimed the Election Commission’s decision was “motivated”.

“Both the Congress and the BJP are nervous. There was no problem on May 7. The Election Commission has needlessly gone in for a repoll. For me,however,this is good news as more people have voted for me this time,” he said.

Ramesh Kumar underplayed the incident. “It is just a small mistake by the polling official,” he said.

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The repoll has upset Election Commission officials,particularly since they had earlier taken credit for “a smooth election”,said a source. “Incidents like this spoil the entire effort,” said an election official.

First published on: 11-05-2009 at 02:20:44 am
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