Manipur Congress accuses ruling BJP of violating political rights

Correspondent IMPHAL, Apr 21 | Publish Date: 4/21/2019 12:06:32 PM IST

The Congress and BJP in Manipur have been locked in a war of words even after polling for the two Lok Sabha seats have concluded, and while pending re-poll in some polling stations yet to be confirmed from the ECI. Addressing a press conference, Manipur Congress spokesperson and sitting legislator, K Meghachandra alleged that BJP had violated “political rights” of voters during the poll in the Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency held on April 18. 

The spokesperson also demanded fresh poll in all the polling stations across the Andro Assembly segment of Inner Manipur PC where he alleged BJP workers had suppressed the political rights of the voters.

The BJP workers took control of entire polling stations across the Assembly segment and barred not only polling agents of the other candidates but also candidate themselves from entering the polling stations, he alleged. For the sake of fair poll, fresh poll should be held at all the polling stations under Andro Assembly segment, he said.

The sitting MLA further denied manhandling police personnel on poll duty which the state BJP strongly charged.

He said, he had only questioned why police personnel on poll duty remained silent spectator instead of discharging their duty for conducting smooth and fair polls.

He further  alleged that BJP workers were station at almost all the polling stations in this Assembly segment and indulged in proxy voting by baring polling agents of other candidates from coming into the polling station.

Flags of BJP were also displayed at most of the polling station which was total violation of Model Code of Conduct, he alleged.

Andro Assembly segment is the home constituency of state forest and environment minister, Th Shyamkumar. On poll day, as many as three persons including a former gram panchayat pradhan sustained injuries after a clash between BJP and Congress workers.

State CPI, in its complaint, demanded re-poll in 28 polling stations across the Inner Manipur PC.  In its complaint lodged to ECI, CPI alleged mass proxy voting in as many as six polling stations in this Assembly segment.

The allegation of political right violation by the BJP in the state came up at a time state BJP lodged a complaint against two Congress legislators for their alleged threat to police personnel on poll duty.

The party alleged that the two legislators had threatened a police constable on duty at the polling station in front of public using un-parliamentary language.

On the other hand, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Manipur has recommended re-poll at 12 polling stations of Inner Manipur PC which went to polls on April 18, as per a media report here.

Citing damages done to EVMs and other electoral malpractices, CPI, Congress and other political parties have demanded re-poll at many polling stations.

While recommending the re-poll in the 12 polling stations to the ECI, the CEO proposed conducting re-poll on April 22 or April 24.

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