Parties resume campaign after EC defers Tripura poll

Agartala: Most political parties and candidates in Tripura East Lok Sabha constituency resumed their campaign on Wednesday after the Election Commission (EC) deferred Thursday’s polling to April 23 citing an “unconducive situation”.

The EC also replaced Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Rajiv Singh with V.S.Yadav. The decision came on separate reports by Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Sriram Taranikanti, Special Central Police Observer Mrinal Kanti Das (a former Director General of Manipur Police), Returning Officer Vikas Singh (also District Magistrate and Collector of Dhalai District) and other intelligence inputs.

The Left parties and the Congress had also complained to the EC about massive rigging, booth capturing and malpractices by the ruling BJP during polling in Tripura West constituency on April 11.

Welcoming the EC decision, all the parties announced resuming their campaign and continuing till April 21.

Talking to IANS, Taranikanti said: “To create conducive situation and (arrange) deployment of adequate additional security forces, the polling was deferred by the Commission. We would make all efforts to improve the situation in the Tripura East Lok Sabha constituency.”

“We would undertake all possible confidence building measures before April 23. We would try to plug the loopholes, if any, in the poll preparedness in the Tripura East Lok Sabha seat,” he added.

The CEO said that the Returning Officer (RO) for the Tripura West Lok Sabha seat Sandeep Mahatme was examining reports of the central observers, police observers, District Magistrates and evidence of the webcasting of polling.

“After completion of the scrutiny by the RO, a decision would be taken on re-polling,” the CEO said.