Tejashwi Yadav had raised the question and demanded a re-count, alleging the cancellation of postal ballots in several seats including Hilsa.
Hilsa Assembly constituency was the seat for which was surrounded by controversy in the results of Bihar assembly elections. The margin of victory in the Hilsa assembly seat was only 12 votes and the JDU candidate won this seat. After this, Tejashwi Yadav had raised the question and demanded a re-count, alleging the cancellation of postal ballots in several seats including Hilsa. However, now the statement of Bihar Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) HR Srinivas has come and he said that the election result of Hilsa assembly constituency has been declared as per the procedure mentioned by the Election Commission. The Hilsa seat had a margin of 12 votes. The Election Commission rejected Tejashwi’s claim of rigging.
Speaking to the media, Srinivas said that out of the total 243 seats in the Bihar Assembly, there are 11 assembly constituencies where the margin of victory was less than 1,000 votes. He said that out of the 11 assembly segments, JDU has won 04 seats, RJD 03, BJP, LJP, CPI and Independents one seat each. The CEO said that out of these 11 assembly seats, candidates or election agents had demanded a “re-counting” of votes in six constituencies.
He said the returning authorities had passed a ‘reasoned order’, rejecting the revision petition for winning five seats. In Hilsa constituency of Nalanda district, the re-count petition was accepted as the margin of victory (12 votes) was less than the rejected postal ballots (182). In Hilsa, the JDU candidate won by just 12 votes While the number of ‘rejected postal ballots’ was 182, in five constituencies – Ramgarh, Matihani, Bhore, Dehri and Parbatta – the number of postal ballots was more than the margin of victory.
Srinivas said that as per the latest directives issued by the ECI on May 18, 2019, it was done in the case of Hilsa. He said that the Returning Officer re-counted the entire postal ballots in Hilsa and a reasoning order was passed in this regard. In response to a question, the CEO said that his office would make available documents and copy of videography to the concerned party / parties.
Srinivas also made it clear that the Election Commission guidelines clearly mentioned who can carry a mobile phone inside the counting center. He said that counting of votes from EVMs starts 30 minutes after counting of postal ballots and after that the counting of votes goes on simultaneously in different halls which also have videography.
In fact, the leader of the opposition grand alliance, Tejashwi Yadav, had demanded a re-count, alleging that large number of postal ballots were cancelled. The RJD leader also alleged that postal ballots were counted later in some seats, whereas it is the first to be counted.