Northeast

YCM calls for peaceful, free and fair second phase election

Violence was reported in and around the premises of several polling stations in the first phase of the 12th Manipur Legislative elections causing much public dismay, the Youth Collective Manipur stated

ByIFP Bureau

Updated 2 Mar 2022, 4:21 pm

(PHOTO: IFP)
(PHOTO: IFP)

The Youth Collective Manipur (YCM) has drawn the attention of all stakeholders not to create any kind of untoward incident that could prevent a free and fair election in the second phase on March 5, while expressing anguish over the occurrence of some unwanted incidents during the first phase voting of 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly election. 

In a release issued on Wednesday, the YCM stated that Manipur witnessed a remarkable voter turnout in the first phase of Manipur-2022-Election with a total turnout of 78.0 per cent as per report of Election Commission of India.

YCM monitors observed 266 polling stations in 14 constituencies out of 38 constituencies that went to polls on February 28. It is unfortunate that the election day also turned violent, it stated. Violence was reported in and around the premises of several polling stations causing much public dismay, it added while informing that terrifying incidents occurred such as gunfire in close vicinity of polling stations, blank firing by security personnel on election duty to disperse attempted booth capture, damage of EVM VVPAT inside the polling station.

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On top of this, on the way from the polling booths to the strong rooms, aggression among party workers due to alleged proxy voting and voter disenfranchisement, display of party flags and posters in close vicinity of polling stations in violation of Model Code of Conduct happened, the release mentioned.

It also pointed out that certain armed groups reportedly voted on behalf of an entire village by preventing voters themselves from voting. There were also instances of voters finding their votes already casted by someone else when they went to the polling booth. A victimized voter was finally allowed to cast a tender vote after his protest video of such denial of voting rights and proxy voting went viral in the media.

There were also reports of refraining agents of opposition political parties by threatening and intimidating them from observing polling booths. EVM-VVPAT malfunctioning was reportedly widespread, it added.

The release alleged that an observation marked by YCM monitors noticed a higher voter turnout in constituencies with money and muscle power. Among 10 constituencies with highest voter turnout, 9 (Nine) constituencies have 19 crorepati while the remaining 1 (One) constituency is constituted of ethnic community that was intimidated by a militant group to vote for a particular party on the eve of election, the YCM added.

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It also said that the death of two officials on poll duty draws concern of safety measures and precautions provided to officials on duty. This matter must be dealt with utmost urgency to avoid such grave incidents on the upcoming 5 March poll day, the YCM stated.

Vote buying was reported to be rampant on Election Day as well and from the information gathered from voters in general, the modus-operandi of vote buying seems rather sophisticated, the YCM said. It was also observed that COVID-19 protocols were not strictly enforced in most of the polling stations visited. It is necessary that stakeholders take precautions to prevent escalation of cases due to election and related activities, the release added. 

While appealing to authorities concerned, it said that it is unfortunate to witness many unwanted incidents that will prevent elections to conduct in a free and fair manner. As such all stakeholders should extend their effort to combat all such ill activities.

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First published:2 Mar 2022, 4:21 pm

Tags:

free and fair electionelection violenceManipur polls 2022Manipur elections 2022 second phase

IFP Bureau

IFP Bureau

IMPHAL, Manipur

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