90 % and above polling in these booths

The district is no stranger to complaints of electoral malpractices and it is no different this time with United Democratic Front (UDF) candidate in the Kannur Lok Sabha constituency and Congress leader K. Sudhakaran on Saturday demanding re-poll in nearly 100 booths.

In the wake of the UDF’s allegation of large-scale electoral malpractices allegedly by Communist Party of India (Marxist) workers in booths in the CPI(M) strongholds, 50 booths in the Kannur Lok Sabha constituency that recorded 90 per cent and above polling will be under the scanner of election authorities.

The election officials here have disclosed that 50 polling booths in the constituency recorded more than 90 per cent polling. As many as 29 of these booths are in the Taliparamba Assembly segment which, according to UDF workers, saw organised impersonation and bogus voting.

The highest polling percentage (96.6) in the Kannur Lok Sabha constituency was recorded in booth number 100 in the Taliparamba segment. EC observer K.N. Meena and Deputy Collector (Election) N. Devidas examined the complaints of electoral malpractices from political party representatives. 0The election officials have also completed verification of the booth-level accounts of votes recorded by the presiding officers concerned. As per the conventional wisdom accepted by the Election Commission, a booth which records a polling percentage of 90 per cent and above is identified as sensitive/ vulnerable if a single party/front polls over 70 per cent of the votes there.

Allegation

The UDF allegation is that nearly all the polling booths that recorded over 90 per cent polling are in the CPI(M)’s pocket boroughs.

After the polling in the 2009 Lok Sabha election, Mr. Sudhakaran, who was the Congress candidate, had alleged large-scale booth capturing in the constituency.

He had alleged that 25,000 bogus votes had been polled in that election. However, he won that election with a margin of 43,000-odd votes.

CPI(M) leaders dismissed the allegation of electoral malpractices in the booths in its strongholds.

Meanwhile, the Congress is planning to hold a door-to-door campaign against electoral malpractices that deny genuine voters their right to vote in a free and fair manner.

Mr. Sudhakaran told The Hindu that the Congress and the UDF would chalk out details of the campaign to mobilise public outrage against what he called the CPI(M)’s determined bid to use its muscle power to intimidate UDF’s booth agents and voters in the constituency.

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