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EC Observers in Manipur to check photographs of voters

Imphal, February 12 (PTI): Following complaints of bogus voting in some polling stations in Manipur during the Assembly elections, three observers from the Election Commission on Sunday arrived in Imphal to verify the photos of voters, officials said. Chief Electoral Officer of West Bengal Sunil Gupta, D K Pandey of CRPF (Ranchi) and Gaurav Dwivedi from the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting at New Delhi would verify the photographs of voters taken during the polling with the photos in electoral rolls. Along with Manipur election officials, the observers would check the photos of the voters only in the polling stations from where the EC had received complaints of irregularities. "Every effort would be made to ensure that all irregularities are rectified so that votes of only genuine voters are counted, they said. Of the total 17 lakh voters, about 13 lakh people had exercised their franchise in the Assembly elections held on January 28. Photographs of all the voters were taken during the polling, but photos of about 21,000 people could not be taken due to problems in mobile cameras. Some political parties have complained to the state election office about bogus voting. The counting of votes for the 60-member Manipur assembly would be taken up on March 6.

'Tainted' Leader Re-Inducted in Tripura Cabinet

Agartala, February 12 (PTI): Amid the boycott of the opposition members in assembly, former minister for Food and Civil Supply Sahid Chowdhury, who was dropped from the Left Front ministry in Tripura following allegations of links with a Bangladeshi arms dealer, was today re-inducted in the cabinet. Governor D Y Patil administered the oath of office and secrecy to Chowdhury at a simple ceremony at Raj bhavan here. Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and all his cabinet colleagues were present at the oath taking ceremony. The leader of opposition, Ratan Lal Nath yesterday met the Governor and advised him not to administer the oath of office to Chowdhury alleging he had links with Bangladeshi arms dealer and HUJI activist Mamun Mia. Chowdhury, who also held the office of Food and Civil Supply and Minority Affairs, had resigned in April 2008 from the cabinet in the wake of media report that he had alleged links with Bangladeshi arms dealer Mia. Mia was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by the Chief Judicial Magistrate court here for forging documents to secure Indian citizenship. The report of alleged link between the 54-year-old Chowdhury and Mia had rocked the state politics since 2008. However, Chowdhuri's link with the Bangladeshi arms dealer is yet to be proved. He was elected to the assembly three times from Boxanagar in West Tripura and was inducted as minister in March 2008. “We demanded to the chief minister that a CBI inquiry be recommended for proper investigation, but the CM ordered a CID inquiry which was nothing but an eye wash to cover up the truth", he told reporters.

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