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CPI-M Demands Repoll in 464 Tripura Booths

"The Left parties have given the EC specific evidence to prove how polling was turned into a farce on April 11."
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New Delhi/Agartala: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday held demonstrations in New Delhi and Agartala demanding repoll in 464 of the 1,679 polling booths in the Tripura West Lok Sabha constituency, and free and fair poll in the Tripura East seat on April 18.

CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Monday visited the Election Commission and submitted a memorandum with videos and photographs in support of their demand. He was accompanied by party candidate for the Tripura West Lok Sabha seat Sankar Prasad Datta and other leaders.

The full Election Commission, led by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, later held video conference to review poll preparedness in some constituencies of West Bengal and Tripura going to polls in the second and third phases. 

Addressing a rally in Agartala, former Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said it was now up to the EC to ensure that democracy was protected in India. "The Left parties have given the EC specific evidence -- a large number of videos and photographs -- to prove how polling was turned into farce on April 11," said Sarkar, also a member of the CPI-M politburo.

Election to Tamil Nadu's Vellore LS Seat Cancelled

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday rescinded the Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu's Vellore parliamentary constituency.

"Accepting the recommendation of Election Commission dated April 14, 2019, the President is pleased to rescind election to Vellore Parliamentary Constituency, Tamil Nadu to elect a member to Lok Sabha," an official statement said.

The decision comes two days after the Election Commission wrote to the President apprising him about the seizure of Rs 11.5 crore cash from a warehouse in Vellore district.

The seizures were made by the Income Tax Department in a search operation at a cement warehouse belonging to a DMK official.

Rs 7.33 Crore Cash Seized in NE Since March 10

Guwahati: The Income Tax Department has seized Rs 7.33 crore cash in the North-Eastern states since the EC model code of conduct came into force on March 10, officials said on Tuesday.

"The seizure of unexplained cash in this brief period exceeds the Rs. 1.21 crore seized during the 2014 general elections. Nearly 75 of seizures were done in the past two weeks and include operations based on independent intelligence against moneylenders and interceptions at airports by the IT Directorate's Air Intelligence Units," said Sanjay Bahadur, IT Principal Director of the Northeast region. 

All the 12 Air Intelligence Units (AIU), functioning under Joint Director Mrinal K. Das, will remain active till April 23, the last poll date in the region. 

The AIU is also monitoring unscheduled and chartered private flights at all airports and I-T surveillance teams have asked district authorities to alert them about all helicopter landings.

A special task force was being set up to investigate hundreds of bank transactions, involving high value cash deposits and withdrawals, officials said.

Section 144 in Assam District Ahead of Polls

Guwahati:  Ahead of voting on Thursday for the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, the Assam government has imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in the state's Hailakandi district in the wake of apprehensions of poll-related disturbance.

Hailakandi, Cachar and Silchar are the three districts in Assam's Barak Valley which constitute two Lok Sabha constituencies -- Silchar and Karimganj. Both constituencies are going to the polls in second phase of voting which will be held on April 18.

"Section 144 CrPC has been promulgated in the entire district in view of reports and happenings, and there is every likelihood of disturbance in connection with the ensuing parliamentary elections," Hailakandi District Magistrate Keerthi Jalli said.

The order comes into force from 5 p.m. on Tuesday and will be in force till April 19.

"The order prohibits assembly of five or more persons in front of polling stations or any other public place, or carrying of fire arms and weapons. It also prohibits bursting of fire crackers, holding of public meetings, processions, dharnas and rallies," Jalli said.

Act Against Modi for Violating Model Code on Sabarimala, EC told

New Delhi: The CPI(M) on Tuesday urged the Election Commission to take "immediate appropriate action" against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for flagrantly violating the model code of conduct on the Sabarimala issue.

Nilotpal Basu, a CPI(M) leader, wrote to the Chief Election Commissioner regarding Modi's remarks on Sabarimala temple, at his election rallies, which he alleged was aimed at "communal polarisation".

Basu quoted Modi as telling an election rally at Theni in Tamil Nadu that the communists and the Muslim League were playing a dangerous game on Sabarimala "to strike at the root of faith", adding that "As long as there is BJP, none can destroy our faith."

Basu said: "This is a clear example as to how Modi is not only violating the code but also implicitly challenging the order of the EC to refrain from using Sabarimala temple and Lord Ayyappa in the election campaign."

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