Agartala | A day after the Election Commission postponed voting in BJP-ruled Tripura citing law and order problem, the saffron party on Thursday claimed that the poll panel was ‘confused’ by a conspiracy hatched by the CPI(M) and the Congress.
This ‘confusion’ also led the EC to remove the state’s Additional Director General of Police Rajiv Singh from duty, senior BJP leader and state Law minister Ratan Lal Nath said.
The EC Tuesday announced postponing voting in the Tripura (East) Lok Sabha seat to the third phase on April 23 from April 18, saying the prevailing law-and-order situation there is not conducive for holding free and fair poll. After postponing the election, the EC transferred ADGP (Law and Order) Rajiv Singh.
Earlier in the day, the CPI(M) alleged that the ruling BJP in the state resorted to “massive rigging” in West Tripura Lok Sabha seat during the first phase elections on April 11.
The Congress too had alleged that election was blatantly rigged at West Tripura Lok Sabha polls on April 11.
“The CPI(M) and the Congress have hatched a conspiracy to foil the elections in Tripura. They were routed by people and would never win in a proper election. The Election Commission was confused by their trick and transferred Additional DG Rajiv Singh and deferred the election,” senior BJP leader and Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath alleged.
He claimed that the EC got confused with the complaints of violence lodged by the two parties and transferred Additional DGP Rajiv Singh and deferred the polls.
“Our leaders have met the EC in New Delhi. We have met the CEO in Tripura. But it seems we have failed to convince the Election Commission about the conspiracy,” Nath said.
Earlier in the day, state CPI(M) secretary Gautam Das said, “The massive rigging in the first phase of polls was the manifestation of the BJP’s frustration after realising that its support base has eroded in the state. They (BJP) have cheated the people of Tripura by not fulfilling the promises made before last year’s assembly polls.”
He sought heavy deployment of central forces and intensified patrolling in the sensitive areas of East Tripura constituency, which is set to go to polls on April 23.
“Just after the conclusion of the voting process in West Tripura on April 11, we made an assessment and found out that polls were rigged in 464 of the total 1,679 booths.
Later, reports suggested that rigging was carried out in 774 booths,” Das claimed.
Rebutting the CPI(M) charges, BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharya said, “The BJP did not resort to any kind of unfair practices. Rigging is part of CPI(M)’s culture. During the party’s 25-year rule in the state, the Left parties have rigged each and every election.”