M A I N   N E W S

Repoll in 125 stations today
17 in Punjab and Haryana
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 11
The Election Commission today decided to hold repoll in 125 polling stations spread over eight states, including 17 in Punjab and Haryana, following reports of electoral malpractices.

The poll panel said the repoll would be held tomorrow in 31 polling booths in West Bengal, 30 in Tamil Nadu, 23 in Uttar Pradesh, 18 in Uttranchal, 11 in Haryana, six in Punjab, five in Assam and one in Sikkim.

Earlier, a delegation of Congress, CPI (M), RJD, Lok Janshakti Party and the JMM today met the Election Commission and opposed any demand for countermanding of elections in Siwan, Bettiah and Madhepura Lok Sabha constituencies, though it accepted the decision for a repoll in the whole of Chapra.

"We accept the EC's verdict on Chhapra and we will cooperate with it in ensuring that free and fair polling is held there," Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan told reporters here after the meeting.

Opposing BJP's demand for countermanding polls in Siwan, Bettiah and Madhepura, Paswan said: "While repolling has already been held in several booths in these three constituencies, we would not like the panel to accept similar demand for other constituencies as otherwise it will become an unending process."

The delegation included R.K. Dhawan, Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes (all Congress), Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), Prem Gupta (RJD) and Mukti Nath Upadhyay (JMM).

Asked whether the delegation had gone to "protest" the countermanding of Chhapra polls, Yechury said repolling had already been completed in several booths in these three constituencies. "We don't want this process to be extended because otherwise it will go on for ever".

He said fresh elections in Chhapra, scheduled on May 31, should be held under proper supervision of the security forces so as to ensure free and fair elections.

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