Amid allegations that there were irregularities in counting of the Bihar Assembly Election 2020, the Election Commission of Friday said that there is no room for doubt as the counting was doe in front of the candidates.
On Tuesday as the counting went till late night, several RJD and Congress leaders claimed foul play. They said the Commission refused to give certificates to the winners and later NDA candidates were shown as winners on those seats. The RJD also alleged that the Nitish Kumar government exerted pressure on district magistrates to not let Mahagathbandhan’s tally rise above 110. The EC has clarified that only a few counting officers can carry mobile phones inside the hall.
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On Thursday, Bihar’s Chief electoral officer H R Srinivas said that all counting rules and guideline were strictly followed in both the counting of ballots and EVM votes. Only authorised persons, returning officers, assistant returning officers/counting supervisor/s, were carrying mobile phones inside the halls.
A total of 11 constituencies are under focus as the victory margin on these seats was less than 1,000 votes. One of them was Hilsa where the margin was 12 and recounting took place. The result there was declared according to EC guideline, Srinivas said.
Of the 11 assembly constituencies, JD(U) won 04, RJD (03), BJP, LJP, CPI and Independent (one each).
Candidates or their election agents demanded recounting in six of these seats. In five — Ramgarh, Matihani, Bhorey, Dehri and Parbatta — the plea was rejected by the returning officers who also provided the reason behind the rejection. The margin of victory in those five seats was more than the rejected postal ballots.
However, pleas for Hilsa constituency where the victory margin was only 12 votes and the number of rejected postal ballots was 182, the request was accepted and the recounting was done.
What does the EC rulebook say regarding recounting? Where the margin of victory is less than the number of postal ballot papers rejected as invalid at the time of counting, all the rejected postal ballot papers shall be mandatorily re-verified by the returning officer before declaration of result. Whenever, such re-verification is done, the entire proceedings should be video-graphed.
(With PTI Inputs)
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