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Revisiting repoll SOPs

IFP Editorial: Election Commission needs to revisit its parameters for election related complaints and the basis of ordering repoll.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 8 Mar 2022, 2:16 am

(PHOTO: IFP)
(PHOTO: IFP)

The Election Commission of India has ordered repoll of the general elections to the Manipur legislative Assembly 2022 in six polling stations on March 8 from 7 am to 4 pm, declaring null and void the poll taken in these polling stations on March 5. Repoll will be conducted in polling stations - 44/45 Ukhrul (E-2); 45/25-Kakhang; 45/31-Peh (B); 47/49-Ngamju; 49/4-Yangkhullen (A) and 49/51-Marafi, under 44-Ukhrul (ST) and 45-Chingai (ST) constituencies under Ukhrul district and 47-Karong (ST), and 49-Tadubi (ST) constituencies under Senapati district.

The CEO Manipur cited damage to 12 EVMs by miscreants as reason for repoll in the six polling stations. Based on ground reports, the Commission had taken the decision to hold a repoll in only four assembly constituencies despite several allegations of booth capturing and rigging in many polling stations in the second phase of the Manipur assembly elections. In most of the Naga dominated constituencies, this time there is a confusion of whom NSCN IM is supporting. As violence marred several polling stations across different constituencies under six districts in the second phase, affected voters and candidates have demanded repoll in their respective polling stations.

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ALSO READ: Repoll in seven polling stations on March 8 in Manipur

For example, INC candidate M Hemanta of 34-Wangjing Tentha Assembly constituency and his supporters on Sunday marched towards the DEO office Thoubal to demand repoll in all the polling stations which fall under Wanging areas. Wangkhem MLA K Meghachandra reported mass rigging of votes was carried out by Wangkhem AC BJP candidate with his armed workers under his supervision inside four polling stations within the jurisdiction of his home polling, Thoubal Haokha Kiyam. Villagers of Thiulon also staged a protest, alleging that Naga People's Front (NPF) supporters prevented supporters of the National People's Party from casting their votes and restricted entry of some voters at a polling site under 52-Tamei AC.

These are only some of the complaints. In several constituencies, massive booth rigging had been reported. For instance, police arrested six individuals involved in destroying EVM and polling booths in Tengnoupal constituency the video of which had gone viral in social media. Likewise, there are complaints of booth capturing and voter intimidation in Chandel constituency by BJP supporters.

After the first phase, demands have been raised for repoll in 30 polling stations across Churachandpur and Kangpokpi districts, citing several lapses, booth capturing and gross violation of the Constitution during the election. However, the Election Commission on Thursday declared the poll taken on February 28 at 12 polling stations as void and ordered fresh repoll in one polling station each in Khundrakpam and Saitu Assembly constituencies, another three in Thanlon AC, five in Henglep AC and two polling stations in Singhat AC, on March 5. In Imphal East district, 1-Khundrakpam constituency, repoll has been ordered in polling station 1/20 Sarouthel. In Kangpokpi district, 51-Saitu (ST) constituency, repoll will be held in polling station 51/46 New Keithelmanbi.

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ALSO READ: INC candidate alleges ballot rigging by BJP, demands repoll in four polling stations of Wangkhem AC in Manipur

In Churachandpur district, 56-Thanlon constituency, repoll will be held in polling stations 56/5 Songsang, 56/10 Maite and 56/19 Tinsuong. In 57-Henglep constituency, repoll will be held in polling stations 57/20 Majuron Kuki, 57/31 N Chingphei, 57/34 Khoirentak, 57/39 Molsang and 57/49 Leinom. In 60-Singhat constituency, repoll was ordered in 60/36 Teikot and 60/43 Maukot polling stations. The Commission’s decision is mostly based on ground reports given by Presiding Officers of the respective polling stations. Except for Khundrakpam constituency, all other polling stations are in Kangpokpi and Churachandpur district where Kuki militant groups had openly vouched for BJP candidates. In such a scenario, the Election Commission needs to revisit its parameters for election related complaints and the basis of ordering repoll.

- EDITORIAL

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First published:7 Mar 2022, 6:36 pm

Tags:

repollevmmanipur elections 2022Manipur polls 2022rigging of votes

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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