DAINIK NATION BUREAU
Expressing concern over the drop in polling percentage in the General Assembly Election-2017, the state PCC Kishore Upadhyay also referred to past instances of postal ballots being manipulated to the benefit of a particular political party in the state. A Congress delegation had called on the state election officials and had submitted a memorandum seeking transparency and order in the process of counting of the postal ballots.
Pointing an accusing finger at the Bharatiya Janata Party, the PCC president stated that in the by-poll held in 2008 for the Pauri-Garhwal Lok Sabha constituency, the postal ballots of the serving army men were manipulated in order to benefit the BJP. Citing this allegation, he stressed that it was vital to ensure that the required transparency is observed at all cost in the procedure of counting the postal ballots. Upadhyay further said that the election officials of the state must ascertain the validity of the postal ballots when they are taken out for counting. He said that in the polling for the Vidhan Sabha election 2017, the votes which were cast up to the designated time of 5 pm on February 15 are being considered valid and the same must also be ensured by the officials concerned in the case of postal ballots. He further informed the media that a delegation of Congress office bearers had also met the election officials of the state and have requested that necessary action should be ensured in this direction.
Citing the polling percentage statistics released by the election authority, the PCC president went on to point out that according to the latest polling statistics, the voter turnout had seen a drop in the constituencies where the prime minister Narendra Modi had campaigned for the BJP candidates. He also expressed concern at the drop in the polling percentage witnessed in the Vidhan Sabha 2017 elections. Referring to expenditure incurred by candidates in campaigning for the Vidhan Sabha election, Upadhyay said that the BJP had resorted to pumping in money in the campaign in its attempts to influence the voters. The PCC chief also stressed on enforcing the limit of campaigning expenditure. Other office bearers of the PCC were also among those present in the Press conference.