U'khand CM Asks EC to Probe Undelivered Ballots

Dehra Dun
U'khand CM Asks EC to Probe Undelivered Ballots
With elections being fought on a razor-edge victory margin in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister B C Khanduri has asked the Election Commission (EC) to probe the reportedly large number of undelivered postal ballots.

Concerned over the anti-incumbency factor, Khanduri has asked the EC to look into undelivered postal ballots which he claimed were around 50 per cent.

"Why 50 per cent postal ballots were returned undelivered? The Election Commission should order a probe into the matter," he said.

Uttarakhand Chief Electoral Officer Radha Raturi, however, said only 25 per cent of the one lakh postal ballots received were returned undelivered.

This time over 1.19 lakh people, including over a lakh army personnel, are casting their votes through ballot papers, which would continue till 8 AM of March 6 when the votes will be counted, Raturi said.

Senior Congress leader Satpal Maharaj, who is one of the main contenders for the post of chief minister, has asked the EC to appoint separate observers for counting of postal ballots.

"We apprehend that there may be illegal postal ballots. So the commission must appoint those observers who have thorough knowledge of the postal ballot procedures," Maharaj said in a letter to the EC.

BJP on the other hand has dismissed these apprehensions of Congress as merely a "fear factor."

"Congress knows we are better placed. So they are enacting a new drama because of an obvious fear factor," said a state BJP spokesperson.

Postal ballots could play a crucial role in as many as 20 constituencies out of the total 70 in the hill state where Assembly elections were held on January 30.
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