Agartala, September 7 (IANS): Claiming large-scale intimidation, rigging and irregularities by the supporters and goons of the ruling BJP on the day of by-elections to the two Assembly seats of Dhanpur and Boxanagar on Tuesday and Election Commission’s inactiveness to deal with the “terror and misdeeds”, the CPI(M)-led Left Front would boycott the counting of votes on Friday.
CPI(M) Tripura state Secretary Jitendra Choudhury on Thursday said that the party would boycott the counting of votes in the two Assembly segments on Friday and would not depute any agents in the counting centres.
“Due to the large-scale intimidation and attack of the ruling BJP cadres, the party’s polling agents could not attend in more than 50 per cent of the 110 polling stations in the two seats during the day of polling on Tuesday.
There was silent rigging in both the constituencies by the BJP workers. The police and election officials overlooked this new style of intimidating the
opposition voters and election agents,” Choudhury told the media.
Several ministers and BJP leaders violating the Election Commission’s norms conducted and supervised the irregularities even though they cannot enter into the areas of the two assembly constituencies as they are not voters or residents of these areas, the Left leader said.
He said that the party in view of the large-scale intimidation, rigging and irregularities had on Tuesday demanded to cancel the election and conduct
fresh elections, but the Election Commission remained silent.
The voting for the by-polls to the Dhanpur and Boxanagar assembly seats in Sepahijala district was held on Tuesday and 86.56 per cent of the 93,495 voters cast their votes.
BJP leaders, however, denied the accusations and claimed that voting took place in both the seats in a festive mood, sans any hassles.
The Congress and the Tipra Motha Party (TMP), the other two main opposition parties in the state, had earlier announced not to field candidates in the two seats to prevent division of vote share.
The leaders of TMP headed by Pradyot Bikram Manikya Deb Barman had declared not to support the BJP or the CPI(M) in the by-elections, leaving the choice to the voters and party workers. On the other hand, Congress leaders, including state unit President Asish Kumar Saha and MLA Sudip Roy Barman, have campaigned for the CPI(M) candidates.
The CPI(M) has nominated Mizan Hossain in Boxanagar and Kaushik Chanda in Dhanpur, while the ruling BJP has fielded Taffajal Hossain in Boxanagar and Bindu Debnath in Dhanpur.
In February, the Left parties and the Congress had contested the elections together with seat-sharing arrangements, while the TMP had gone solo.
The by-election in Dhanpur seat was necessitated after Union Minister Pratima Bhoumik resigned from the Assembly, days after her election from
the seat as a BJP nominee.
The Muslim-dominated Boxanagar Assembly seat fell vacant after the death of sitting CPI-M MLA Samsul Haque, who died on July 19 following a cardiac attack.