‘Congress will win if election is free and fair’
IMPHAL/KPI: Alleging the ruling BJP government of using power and proxy voting in the recently held by-elections in the state, the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee and INC candidate for 51-Saitu A/C, Dr. Lamtinthang Haokip, have demanded repoll in 10 polling stations.
In this connection, INC candidate from 51-Saitu A/C Dr. Lamtinthang Haokip has written to the Returning Officer of 51-Saitu (ST) AC Bye-Election in Kangpokpi District seeking a repoll at 10 Polling Stations.
In the letter to the Returning Officer, Dr. Lamtinthang Haokip put up his discontentment and dissatisfaction with Polling Officer’s report from 10 Polling Stations in 51-Saitu AC seeking immediate action.
The polling stations as mentioned by the INC candidate are, 51/3 Mayangkhang Khunou, 51/4 Mayangkhang(B), 51/5 Tumuyon Khullen (A), 51/6 Tumuyon Khullen (B), 51/33 Leilon Vaiphei, 51/37 Leimakhong, 51/47 Khoripok, 51/50 Khoken, 51/52 Kharam Pallel and 51/53 Tingkai Khullen.
The INC candidate also stated that he does not considered post-poll scrutiny as completed until he is provided with the video coverage/clips of the said polling stations and demanded re-poll.
Speaking to media persons, among the reasons Dr. Lamtinthang Haokip said was entry of armed goons, village authority in the booths, voters being intimidated and proxy votes by offenders.
He also produced the voters’ slips of his voters being denied to exercise their franchise rights at various polling stations.
He demanded that the said polling stations need re-poll and the concerned authority must take action for the re-poll in the larger interest of democracy.
The INC candidate further said that as his Chief Agent and General Secretary along with few of his workers were falsely arrested and detained inside Sekmai PS lockup, they were also unable to exercise their franchise rights which are unconstitutional as well.
Meanwhile, the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee also writes to the Election Commission of India demanding re-poll stating that polling procedure are irregular to the extent that since the start of polling processes all voting has been proceeding through proxy voting.
It also said that the booths have been captured by the BJP workers and has been completely barred for the INC voters.
Henceforth, fresh poll/re-poll may be ordered under Section 58(B) and Section 58(A) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
Speaking to a local news channel, Loitongbam Tilotama, Spokesperson, MPCC said that there can be two results – Free and Fair poll result or Proxy poll result.
Congress will win in a free and fair election but if there is proxy or dictate system or use of power, we can say about the result. And in this by-poll, the ruling government has been trying every means possible to win it, she said.
She also cited instances of Saikot/Singhat constituency in Churachandpur and questioned by maximum security was sent to Samuroa polling station under Wangoi constituency. It shows that BJP is scared of Congress, she said.
If the election is free and fair, we are sure to win but considering the situation, we don’t know what to say, Loitongbam Tilotama said.
She said that a letter has been sent to the Election Commission of India (ECI) demanding re-poll in 10 areas but that they are yet to get reply from the commission.
We toll our candidates to get the approval of the people and get their blessings and come out victorious. However, the situation of the election speaks otherwise. However, if the public is intelligent, they will surely vote for Congress, she exuded confidence.
‘What is the role of village authority inside polling station’
Alleging of proxy voting perpetuated by village authority of Tumuyon Khullen and M. Ningthoupham, wife of INC candidate Regina Pamei Haokip asked the role of village authority inside polling station at 51/4 Mayangkhang (B), 51/5 Tumuyon Khullen(A) and 51/6 Tumuyon Khullen (B) during the poll day in respect of 51-Saitu AC By-Election.
The INC candidate’s wife alleged that the village authority of Tumuyon Khullen led by its Chairman restricted the INC voters to cast their vote and they even stopped her from entering the polling area even after identifying herself as the wife of the INC candidate, Dr Lamtinthang Haokip.
When told them I am the wife of Dr Lamtinthang Haokip, the village authority and its chairman insultingly told me that they do not know who I am and that they do not know who the wife of INC candidate is. They even manhandled me by pulling and pushing me in my shirt, alleged Regina Pamei Haokip.
She also alleged that the security personnel on duty at the polling station remained a mute spectator when unconstitutional activities have been carried out inside and in the surrounding area of the polling station.
What is the role of the village authority inside the polling booth and in the vicinity of the polling area when security personnel are deployed to look after the polling, she asked.
She also alleged that the village authority chairman of the Tumuyon Khullen blatantly told me that we have a unanimous resolution to vote for a particular candidate and you cannot break that resolution when there are many INC supporters were forcefully denied entry inside the polling booth to cast their vote.
She further said that I have complaint to the concerned authority and the police officer at the polling station but nothing has been done rather it looks as if they are supporting the unconstitutional activities carried out by the village authority.
She also alleged that similar style of proxy voting and vote capturing has been done at 51/4 Mayangkhang (B) by the village authority where at least one member of the Village Authority remained inside the polling booth and dictate the voters to whom they should cast their vote.
She also said that the ARO and other concerned authority also knew that some village authority member where there inside the polling booth but the act as nothing happen and the voting is going on peacefully.
Meanwhile, Ponga, an INC voter at Tumuyon Khullen alleged that she was restricted from entering the polling booth to cast her vote but managed to enter it. However, one village authority member was standing just near the EVM and told me to cast in favour of BJP candidate which I denied and try to cast my vote for the INC candidate to which the village authority member pull my hand and attempt to forcefully made me press the BJP candidate button. I struggle hard to Press on the INC candidate button. Since then, no INC supporters were allow to enter the polling booth to cast their vote, she alleged.
She also alleged that outside the polling booth the village authority control everything and act as very calm and peaceful but inside they play an unconstitutional act of proxy voting and vote capturing.
Regina Pamei Haokip, wife of INC candidate Dr. Lamtinthang Haokip has sought for repoll at 51/4 Mayangkhang(B), 51/5 Tumuyon Khullen (A) and 51/6 Tumuyon Khullen (B) in the larger interest of free and fair election.
Unfortunately, at 51/4 Mayangkhang(B), volunteesr from the village youth and a media team had a scuffle when the volunteer restricted to enter the polling area. However, with the intervention of the ARO and other concerned authority they were allowed to perform their duty.