Describing Monday’s repolling at 36 booths spread over five districts of the state as “peaceful”, the State Election Commission said over 64 per cent voter turnout has been recorded.
“Around 64 per cent polling was recorded in today at 36 booths. The percentage is likely to go up as we are still waiting to get confirmed reports from our officials at a few places,” said State Election Commissioner Susanta Ranjan Upadhaya.
The Commission had decided to hold repolling in 36 booths, following reports of booth jamming, booth capturing, theft and damage of EVM machines from these booths during the April 25 elections. “Today, there were no report of any violence from any of these booths,” said Upadhaya.
Repolling was conducted in North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Burdwan, Birbhum and Darjeeling districts.
For the counting process — to be held on Tuesday — Upadhaya said a two-tier security arrangement has been put in place at the 111 counting venues across the 91 municipalities and 15 venues for KMC polls.
“Section 144 of the CrPC will be imposed within 200 m of all the venues, which will be guarded by armed police personnel. All counting centres will be monitored by CCTV cameras and videography will be carried out,” he added.
“I have told the commissioner of police for Kolkata and SPs of all concerned districts that candidates and agents of parties should be allowed to enter the venues and not harassed. Cellphones will not be allowed inside counting booths,” Upadhaya said, adding that no contractual or casual government employees have been engaged in the counting process.
Upadhaya, meanwhile, said the discrepancy in KMC poll turnout percentage was a result of human errors.
On showcause notices issued against two presiding officers asking them why they failed to report incidents of alleged malpractices properly in KMC polls, he said: “One officer claimed that a Congress agent had entered into a scuffle and out of panic, he had reported that there was trouble. The second presiding officer said a polling agent from the adjacent booth had come over and created trouble. While he had reported the matter initially, as it was solved, he did not feel it was necessary to give a report on it in writing.”
Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi, meanwhile, said he had sought reports from the SEC on the April 25 civic polls. “After I receive the reports, whatever action I can within constitutional limits, will be taken,” he added.