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BJP leaders barge into CEO's office, demand repoll in 297 booths

CEO orders repoll in 1 booth at Cooch Behar

BJP leaders barge into CEOs office, demand repoll in 297 booths

Kolkata: In an unprecedented move, state BJP leaders stormed into the office the Chief Electoral Officer Ariz Aftab on Friday, demanding repoll at 297 booths in Cooch Behar. Poling in Cooch Behar was held on Thursday.

The CEO's office has recommended repoll in booth 181 at Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar. BJP has alleged that women voters were not able to exercise their franchise in that booth during the poll on Thursday. Security of the CEO has been beefed up following the incident.

BJP supporters staged a demonstration outside the office of the CEO from the morning.

At around 3 pm, BJP leaders including Mukul Roy, Joyprakash Mazumdar and Sishir Bajoria stormed into the CEO's office, where Roy had a heated exchange with the CEO. They demanded that the CEO and deputy CEO be removed as they are "working in favour of the ruling party."

After the CEO failed to give any assurance regarding the repoll, the BJP leaders sat on the floor of the lobby.

Roy alleged that the CEO is working as an agent of the ruling party and no free and fair election is possible without his removal. When asked about his response to the same, deputy CEO Sanjay Basu refused to comment.

In Cooch Behar, BJP candidate Nisith Pramanick and his party workers gheraoed the EC officials, raising the same demand.

Pramanick had said on Thursday that the state police had connived with Trinamool Congress to rig the polls. He demanded re-election in all the booths.

Reacting sharply to this, Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee said: "BJP is a peculiar political party whose only business is creating chaos."

Mayor Firhad Hakim said: "The way in which BJP leaders entered the office of the CEO, is unprecedented. ECI should drop the party from the election fray."

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