NPF counter-charges Thaisii of booth capturing, tampering EVMs

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IMPHAL, Jan 30: Claims and counter claims of poll irregularities continue to surface two days after the assembly elections last Saturday.

In two press releases, supporters of NPF candidate of Karong AC, Dr V Alexander Pao today refuted the complaints made by minister DD Thaisii and INC candidate of booth capturing by NSCN-IM and dismissed the demands for re-polling in 18 polling stations in the constituency as unnecessary.

On the contrary, Thaisii was accused of indulging in manipulating voting on poll day. He was also charged of forcibly snatching the EVMs of Oinam polling station at his home town Purul from the hand of the security forces and returning it only after keeping it in their custody for about an hour, inferring the possibilities of tampering with the machines.

Moreover, the votes of two persons who sought NPF ticket PS Henry Paotei and Th Sanii inhabitant of Purul Atongba and Purul Akutpa villages, as well as those of their supporters were forcibly cast in proxy by supporter of the INC candidate, they charged.

In Kapao polling station, the villagers were not even allowed to exercise their franchise and in their place youths from Purul and Koide villages impersonate them under an arrangement devised by the minister, the notes added.

AITC candidate from Saikot, Lunkholal today lodged a complaint with the returning officer citing that in at least 24 polling stations cases of impersonation and multiple casting of votes took place.

He identified the polling stations as 59/1, 59/3-59/5, 59/11-59/13, 59/15-59/18, 59/31-59/38, 59/44, 59/45, 59/47-59/49. Stating that the acts were transgression of established laws, he urged the authorities to take stern actions against the perpetrators.

AITC for Churachandpur constituency, P Songlianlal yesterday alleged that an unauthorized person took photographs of voters at 58/23 station in New Lamka Government JB H/S and questioned the polling officer as to why he was given permission without meeting the criteria.

Regarding the charges that he had snatched the mobile camera used for capturing photographs of the voters from the man, AITC candidate clarified that he had made an enquiry whether all the agents and poll personnel present have proper authorization. When he was challenging the presence of the cameraman, one of his followers had snatched the cameras out of spite and handed it over to him.

He subsequently submitted the camera to the DC expressing his disproval of the incident regarding it as an invasion of the privacy of all voters and terming that it ws contrary to the idea of secret ballot.

He also condemned the incident at Geljang polling station in which an inebriated ASI thrash Seiboi son of late Kamkhai as he happened to support the AITC.

The chief agent of AITC candidate of Saikul AC has reported of manipulating polling though intimidation and bribing of poll personnel by their Congress candidate in collusion with KNA cadres.

In a press release, the chief agent said the violation of fair polls was carried out in 46/31 Chingdaikhullen, 46/15 Ekou Mullam, 46/33 Khonbal Kuki, 46/34 Khongbal Kuki (B) and 46/50 Songjang Mongjang stations.

It has drew the attention of the chief electoral officer to review the photographs of voters taken at the polling stations so that re-poll can be ordered and erring officers punished.

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