Imphal, April 21, 2019:
The Congress party has lodged a complaint to the Inner Manipur PC Returning Officer to hold repoll at all polling stations of Heingang AC, the home constituency of Chief Minister N Biren.
Speaking to media persons at Congress Bhavan here this evening, Congress candidate O Nabakishore said that neither CCTV cameras were installed nor polling process was webcast live at any of the polling stations of Heingang AC on April 18 when the Inner Manipur PC went to polls.
The basic objectives of installing CCTV cameras at polling stations and web-casting the election process live are to check proxy voting, poll rigging, booth capturing and other malpractices, Nabakishore said.
Out of the total polling stations of Inner Manipur PC, CCTV cameras were installed at 291 polling stations and the polling process at these stations was webcast live.
Even though installation of CCTV cameras and webcasting of polling process are not compulsory, it remains a big question as to why the usually sensitive Heingang AC was left out while CCTV cameras were installed at polling stations of neighboring Assembly segments, and no satisfactory answer has been received from the office of the CEO regarding the matter, said the Congress candidate.
“Citing the rampant malpractices committed, MPCC and myself have lodged complaints to the RO seeking repoll at all polling stations of Heingang AC”, he said.
On the other hand, polling agents other than those of BJP were not allowed inside some polling stations of Andro AC and extensive proxy voting was done at these polling stations.
Moreover, thumb impressions were put indiscriminately on Form 17-A (register of electors), he said.
Along with video footages of these malpractices and manipulations, a complaint has been lodged to the RO to hold repoll at 11 polling stations of Andro AC, Nabakishore continued.
He said that the Works Minister elected from Thongju AC drove away polling agents from 5/24 polling station of Thongju AC.
As such, the same complaint also sought repoll at six polling stations of Thongju AC.
He conveyed that the same complaint is seeking repoll at two polling stations of Keirao AC.
It is a matter of grave concerned that the Chief Minister and his Ministers indulged in rampant electoral malpractices in the election to Inner Manipur Lok Sabha seat, he remarked.
All these malpractices and manipulations were highlighted in clear terms at the poll scrutiny meeting held yesterday with ECI observers and the RO, and they (election officials) also accepted that there were clear cases of electoral malpractices, Nabakishore said.
He pointed out that CPI candidate Dr. M Nara, one of the 11 candidates contesting in Inner Manipur PC, had already lodged a similar complaint.
He then exuded that ECI would do justice by ordering repoll at most of the polling stations where the poll process was twisted and manipulated.