Also read in

Discrepancy Allegations Spark Controversy in Karimganj; "Clerical Error" says DC; Congress Demands Repolling

A table highlighting discrepancies in the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) counting in the Karimganj Lok Sabha constituency, which includes Hailakandi, has recently gone viral on social media. The data, which remains unconfirmed, indicates a total of 3,811 extra votes being cast across the six Assembly Constituencies within Karimganj and Hailakandi. Despite the District Commissioner of Karimganj and Returning Officer for the elections dismissing the data as misleading and irrelevant, Hafiz Rashid Ahmed Choudhury, the Indian National Congress (INC) candidate, has called for the entire election to be annulled and for a repolling to take place.

The voting for this parliamentary constituency occurred on April 18, with the vote counting conducted on June 4. Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Kripanath Mallah won the election, defeating Congress’s Hafiz Rashid Ahmed Choudhury by a margin of 18,360 votes. Celebrations ensued, with Mallah reaching Delhi two days later, where he was warmly welcomed by supporters and party members with garlands and bouquets.

In the midst of these celebrations, alleged discrepancies in the vote-counting process have surfaced. The contentious table shows significant differences between the total votes polled and the total votes counted on the EVMs. Specifically, it reports excess votes of 2,450 in Patharkandi, 833 in Ramkrishna Nagar, 407 in Karimganj North, and 203 in Karimganj South. According to this data, out of 11,36,538 votes polled, 11,40,349 votes were counted, suggesting an additional 3,811 votes were allegedly cast on the EVMs.

When approached by Barak Bulletin, District Commissioner and Returning Officer Mridul Kumar Yadav attributed the discrepancies to clerical errors on Form 305, which is completed by the Presiding Officer on polling day for voter turnout purposes only. Yadav emphasized that this data does not impact the actual vote count, which is recorded on Form 17C, verified, and signed by all party representatives after each round of counting. “Error is on form 305 which is filled by the Presiding Officer on the day of polling. These are some human or clerical errors and that data is only for the purpose of voter turnout and is non-statutory. There were some small gaps with the voter turnout as well. But this data has no relevance to counting. The original data on Form 17C has been verified and was signed by all the parties in consensus after each round.” Yadav also noted that no show-cause notice had been issued by the Chief Election Officer (CEO) Assam regarding the vote discrepancy, nor has there been any directive for recounting or explanation from the Election Commission of India (ECI) or CEO-Assam. “So far there has been no such notice for recounting or explanation from the ECI of CEO-Assam. Everything has been sealed,” he said.

Contrarily, Hafiz Rashid Ahmed Choudhury maintains that there were significant flaws in both the polling and counting processes. Talking to Barak Bulletin, he reiterated his party’s dissatisfaction and demand for repolling, stating, “We demand re-polling, we are dissatisfied with the process and the entire election needs to be cancelled. We have sent our complaints along with the demand to the Election Commission of India and the Returning Officer of the Parliamentary Constituency. We will take legal steps and my legal team is working both at Guwahati and Delhi.”

After the elections, a video from the day of polling from Patharkandi was doing rounds on social media where a polling agent was seen casting multiple votes at the same time. Authorities previously clarified that the footage was from a mock poll, but the emergence of these alleged discrepancies from the same constituencies has reignited concerns.

This unfolding situation underscores the contentious nature of the recent election and the ongoing debate over the integrity of the voting process.

Comments are closed.