Saturday, October 27, 2007


GANGTOK, October 26: Although reports indicate a fair and peaceful Panchayat polls today, the Opposition Sikkim Pradesh Congress Committee (SPCC) has surfaced with allegations of rigging and malpractice from Bhusuk School Polling Booth, Upper Samdong Polling Booth and from Rinchenpong.
The party supreme Nar Bahadur Bhandari along with General Secretary, SPCC, Kunga Nima Lepcha, Secretary, Panchayat Election Cell of SPCC DB Basnet and Booth Secretary of 31, Gangtok, Mohan Prasad today visited several Polling stations contiguous to Gangtok.
A press release issued by the party states that the Bhusuk School Polling booth was not only manned by only two police but had ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) party workers transport voters in taxi vehicle bearing Registration number SK-04-5754. The release further reveals that the voters were treated to lavish lunch and drinks at the residence of the SDF party candidate for the Bhusuk Panchayat Ward.
Basing these activities as violation of Section 1 (4) (a) and Section 4 (7) of the Model Code of Conduct, the opposition Congress as stated in the release had immediately reported the matter to the Secretary of the State Election Commission who later noted the report as well as assured for appropriate action.
The release also informs of a Scorpio bearing number SK-02-7128 engaged in transporting voters and involved in other illegal activities in Turung.
Emphasizing that the polling of votes must start at 7.00am and close at 4.00pm as per Election Rules, the SPCC states that a poling booth in Rinchenpong constituency, West District was sealed before 3.00pm thereby depriving the voters coming to cast their votes of their right to franchise.
The SPCC further states that the Electronic Voting Machine issued to Upper Samdong Police Booth went defective twice after recording a number of votes. The party has questioned on the implications of the vote count of the casted votes if a new machine is used for recording the remaining voters