The Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced re-poll in two polling booths ~ one in West Midnapore and the other in Ranibadh in Bankura as the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) in the two stations did not function properly due to some technical glitches.
These two centres, one at booth number 230 at Ranibadh Uchhya Balika Vidyalaya under Ranibadh Assembly constituency at Ghagra area in Bankura where there are 922 voters and booth number 240 at Vivekananda Siksha Niketan in Midnapore Assembly constituency.
The office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) had sent a recommendation to the ECI to conduct a re-poll in these two polling booths as election process was disrupted in the two centres after the EVMs developed some technical snag. After considering the CEO’s proposal the senior ECI officials in Delhi have asked the CEO office to conduct re-polls in these two polling booths.
Senior officials in the CEO office on Thursday said that all the necessary steps have been taken to ensure free and fair elections in the second day of Phase I election scheduled to take place on 11 April. According to the sources in the commission around 400 companies of Central forces will be deployed in 31 Assembly constituencies in the districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and urban Burdwan which will go to poll on April 11. There are 13 Assembly constituencies in West Midnapore and 9 each from Bankura and Burdwan each. On the day of first election on April 4, there were 350 companies of Central Forces in the 18 Assembly constituencies.
This time around the Commission had asked to keep no stone unturned to ensure elections without a single untoward incident. It may be mentioned that on the first day of the phase one election there were some complaints where state police personnel were seen inside the polling booths. After seeing the video footage of the incidents the Commission has given a strong instruction to the CEO office that neither the state police personnel nor the Central Forces jawans would be allowed inside the polling booths during elections unless asked by the presiding officer to do so. A senior official from the CEO office said as per the order of the Commission they will maintain a log book so that they can have a clear idea about the places where the Central Forces had been visiting.
Meanwhile the EC has banned an election advertisement by BJP for using children and an educational institute in poll campaigning material.
"The Committee (Media Certification Appellate Committee), after due consideration, is of opinion that the purported audio-visual advertisement had erred on both counts of using an educational institution for the purpose of campaigning as well as using children below 14 years for use of political campaign in contravention of legal provision," a letter to BJP from the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, West Bengal, said.