The Election Commission (EC) on Monday countermanded the April 26 election in Chapra parliamentary constituency after its two-member inquiry team established that there was large-scale “violence, booth capturing, silent booth-capturing, poll rigging and terrorisation of voters on the day of polling”.
While the BJP candidate Rajiv Pratap Rudy welcomed the move, saying “justice has prevailed”, the RJD candidate from the constituency, Laloo Prasad Yadav, said: “There is something fishy in the whole affair.”
But pointing out that security arrangements on voting day were grossly inadequate, EC spokesman A.N. Jha said the polls will be conducted again on May 31.
The EC also took into account media reports of violence on polling day.
Saying it was "a very shocking state of affairs", the EC noted that voters' registers and other records were manipulated at several places to cover up the poll personnel's complicity in rigging.
The order also censured returning officers and other officials who were “recommending fresh poll at only a few polling stations and attempting to paint a picture that the polling in the constituency was by and large peaceful barring a few incidents”.
On Monday, re-poIling took place in 232 booths in Bihar, including in the violence-hit Madhepura constituency, where RJD chief Laloo took on JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav.