BJP candidate refutes allegations

ITANAGAR, Apr 24: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate for Daporijo constituency in Upper Subansiri district, Taniya Soki has refuted the allegation made by the JD (U) candidate that the supporters of BJP indulged in electoral malpractices at the Soki polling station on polling day, 11 April.
The BJP candidate said that the JD (U) candidate made the allegations against him with a malafide intention to tarnish his image.
“The entire allegations made by the JD (U) candidate against me and my supporters are totally false, concocted and misleading. It is an attempt to tarnish my image,” said Soki in a clarification letter to the CEO.
The JD (U) candidate for Daporijo constituency Dikto Yekar on 22 April lodged a complaint with the CEO, alleging that the supporters of the BJP indulged in violence, proxy voting and voter intimidation, and demanded re-poll at Soki.
The BJP candidate stated that the polling agents of the INC, NPP and JD (U) for 22- Soki polling station did not turn up for the polling station even after the completion of the mock poll and the start of the voting process at the polling station at 7 am.
“The poll process had to be started as it cannot be delayed for the absence of any polling agent. The BJP cannot be blamed for their non-appointment of polling agents against the 22- Soki polling station,” Soki said.
With regards to the allegation of proxy voting, the BJP candidate said that there are sufficient safeguards provided for preventing such (mal) practice in the RP Act.
Soki said that the matter of proxy voting is only to be decided by a competent court/ election tribunal giving the other party a chance to cross examine and verify the allegation.
“For conducting re-poll, there must be a report from the returning officer with regards to any destruction, violence, error or irregularity in procedure, which is likely to vitiate the poll at a polling station. After receiving such report only, the Election Commission, taking all the material circumstances into account, shall declare fresh poll, if necessary, under section 58(2) of the Act,” he said.
Soki said that the total number of voters at Soki polling station is 325 and not 323 as stated by the JD (U) candidate.
“As per the report from my polling agents, out of the 325 electorates, 321 have cast their votes, including 14 voters, who exercised their adult franchise through postal ballot,” he said.
The BJP candidate said that since the polling was conducted in a free and fair manner and the presiding officer too did not report any incidents of violence or disturbance during the polling, there is no question of conducting fresh polling at Soki polling station, he said.
“On the contrary, the supporters of BJP were attacked by the supporters of JD (U) at 30- Jeke polling station, some of whom are currently undergoing treatment at TRIHMS, Naharlagun,” he said.
He alleged that the voters of the BJP were restrained from voting and proxy votes were cast at Jeke polling station in favour of the JD (U).
“Similarly, proxy votes were also cast at 12- Sikarijo and 14- Yekar polling stations in favour of the JD (U) by threatening the supporters of BJP, INC and NPP,” alleged the BJP candidate.
He appealed to the CEO to conduct re-poll in all the three polling stations under Daporijo constituency.