Home » People’s Election Monitoring cell of the YCM sees Phase -1 Manipur poll conducted amid Violent and Corrupt Environment

People’s Election Monitoring cell of the YCM sees Phase -1 Manipur poll conducted amid Violent and Corrupt Environment

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 3 minutes read

IT News
Imphal, March 2:

Even as Manipur witnessed a remarkable voter turnout reaching 88.63% in the phase 1 election held on February 28, People’s Election Monitoring cell of the Youth Collective Manipur said that the election was conducted amid violent and corrupt environment.
A statement said that the YCM monitors observed 266 polling stations in 14 out of 38 constituencies where polling was held.
“It is unfortunate that the Election Day also turned out to be violent. Violence was reported in and around the premises of several polling stations causing much public dismay. Reports include terrifying incidents of 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 as well as 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 MCC”, a statement by Thongam Zingo, Coordinator, People’s Election Monitoring of YCM.
The statement added 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. Several polling booths reportedly conducted voting with agents from only one political party observing. A dramatic case in Saitu AC was the arrest of a candidate from the main opposition party who was later released on bail at mid-night. Several political parties including INC, NPP, JDU and the Shiv Sena staged protests demanding repoll in some constituencies”, the statement said.
It further added that EVM-VVPAT malfunctioning was reportedly widespread. There were confusion and anger it caused among voters present at the polling stations. According to ECI, EVM-VVPAT was damaged in 7 polling stations by unknown miscreants.
YCM monitors observed a higher voter turnout in constituencies with money and muscle power. Among 10 constituencies with highest voter turnout, 9 constituencies have 19 crorepati; while the remaining 1 constituency is constituted of ethnic community that was intimidated by a militant group to vote for a particular party on the eve of election.
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. To ensure safety and security of poll personnel performing their duty in the field in challenging conditions by the concerned officials, so that they can effectively perform their duties is an integral part of conducting free and fair elections.
The statement also said that long queues and waiting time was observed widely at many polling stations. Voters expressed anger over the issue and also reports of daily wage work being affected. YCM hopes that no voters who came out to vote returned without casting ballots due to long queues and waiting time.
It added that vote buying was reported to be rampant on Election Day as well. From the information gathered from voters in general, the modus-operandi of vote buying seems rather sophisticated. It was also observed that CON/ID-19 protocols were not strictly enforced in most of the polling stations visited, the statement said.
YCM appeals all stakeholders a non-violent, free and fair Manipur-2022-Election in the upcoming second phase on March 5, 2022.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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