A never seen before incident in the democratic election process occurred at Golaghat during the first phase of Panchayat Poll when the Election Observer started counting the ballots just after two hours since the commencement of polling. This unbelievable happening was occurred at No. 21 Chetia Gaon LP School polling station under Khumati LAC. It all started when Bubul Dutta, the 2nd Polling Officer, in an act of sheer irresponsibility distributed more than the required ballot papers to the voters and when some of the voters reported the same to the Presiding Officer of the polling station, he stopped the polling instantly. It is to be added that the 2nd Polling Officer was under the influence of alcohol at that time and the police had taken him into custody.
In the meanwhile the Election Observer, Md. Shahnawaj accompanied by Krishna Barua, ADC Law & Order, arrived at the spot and in order to pacify the enraged voters opened the ballot box and instructed the ADC to count the ballots publicly leading to testify that the ballots no longer remain a secret process. According to record 52 voters have exercised their right to franchise but after counting of ballots it was found that the 54 voters has cast their votes. After some times the DC of Golaghat arrived and he ordered the polling to be stopped and a re-polling have been ordered. This public opening of ballot box has led to great controversy and reaction among the people. In another incident, an election candidate had been barred from casting her vote at Murphuloni under Sarupathar LAC. Rupanjali Bheruwa, a ward member candidate from BJP was prevented by the presiding officer from exercising her democratic right as her husband’s name was wrongly printed in the voter list and after some confrontation she was later allowed to vote. While a re-polling has been ordered in No.40 Chongkola ME School polling station as the ballots for Ward Member were not sent. Apart from such a couple of anomalies the overall voting process went off peacefully.
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