Election Commission faces criticism after 171 votes cast at Assam booth, which has only 90 eligible voters


In another shocking development, a polling booth in Assam recorded 171 votes even though it had only 90 eligible voters. The embarrassing development has left India’s Election Commission red-faced prompting the national poll body to suspend at least five of its officials.

The embarrassing development took place in Assam’s Haflong constituency, which went to the polls in the second phase on 1 April. The constituency had registered 74 percent polling.

A news report by PTI said that the District Election Officer has suspended five poll officials of the booth, set up at 107(A) Khotlir LP School, and proposed a repoll. Those suspended have been identified as Seikhosiem Lhangum (Sector Officer), Prahlad Ch Roy (Presiding Officer), Parameswar Charangsa (1st Polling Officer), Swaraj Kanti Das (2nd Polling Officer) and Lalzamlo Thiek (3rd Polling Officer). All five officers have been suspended with immediate effect.

As expected, the incident has triggered a wave of criticism for the Election Commission.

The latest development comes close on the heels of a video of EC officials carrying an EVM in a car owned by a BJP candidate in Assam. The Election Commission had suspended several staff members after the video of EVM found in a BJP candidate in Assam had gone viral. The national poll body had also ordered a repoll on that booth.