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Tripura: CPI(M) Files Formal Complaint With CEC Alleging Bias by Returning Officer

The Left party has also urged the CEC to make arrangements to ensure voting by over 2,000 Tripura State Rifles troopers posted outside.
Representational Image.

Representational Image. (File Image)

New Delhi: The CPI(M) in Tripura has filed a formal complaint with the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC), accusing the Returning Officer (RO) Vishal Kumar of “bias” during the filing of nomination papers of the West Tripura seat for the Lok Sabha.

The CPI(M) and Congress are in an electoral alliance in the Northeastern state.

In a letter, written by the party’s Tripura secretary and former MP, Jitendra Chaudhury, who is also Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, cited the incident where the ruling  Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP )candidate and former state Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, reportedly accompanied by a large group of around 30 to 40 individuals, was  inside the chamber of the RO on Wednesday.

Chaudhury said this was in contravention of the statutory rules that prohibit the entry of more than five persons in the RO’s office, including the candidate, while filing the nomination. He claimed that the crowd was allowed inside, who did not without any objection raised by the RO, according to a report in NENow.

The CPI(M) leader urged the CEC to intervene and address the “bias” and uphold the principles of democracy and fairness in the electoral process.

In the letter, the Left party, cited “similar instances of alleged bias” during Assembly bypolls in Boxanagar and Dhanpur in 2023, where the same person served as the District Electoral Officer.

Voting Facilities for Tripura State Rifles

 In another plea to the CEC, the CPI(M) urged him to ensure that Tripura State Rifle troopers posted outside the state are given facilities to cast their votes for the Lok Sabha elections, such as postal ballots or setting up of special polling booths.

 According to the principal Opposition party in the state, around 2,000 TSR troopers are posted outside Tripura ( mainly Delhi and Chhattisgarh) under different assignments, says a report in East Mojo.

 “They are performing security duties in various government establishments in those states. Most of the Jawans belong to Tripura and their names have been enrolled in the updated electoral roll,” a letter by Chaudhury to the CEC has been quoted by the report.

 The letter said that while the country boasts of being an ‘inclusive democracy’ , “it is indecent to leave such a big number of electors deprived of the right to franchise in the ongoing Lok Sabha election, only because they are performing a noble duty for the interest of the country.”

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