TMC demands re-poll in hill constituencies while BJP wants re-poll in Thoubal AC

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IMPHAL, Jan 30 (NNN): The Trinamool Congress on Monday demanded re-poll in almost all the hill Constituencies of Manipur which went to the polls on January 28, while the BJP demanded re-poll in Thoubal Constituency, the home Constituency of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi, alleging of rigging.

“Trinamool Congress had demanded more security personnel for the hill districts well ahead of the Saturday polls, but it was not implemented by Election Commission of India (ECI) that resulted in a big lapse in security”, Manipur Pradesh Triamool Congress president Kim Gangte alleged talking to the media at the Manipur Press Club here.

The Kuki militant groups, which are under Suspension of Operations (SoO) involving the Central and State Governments, and the NSCN-IM, which is also under peace-talks with the Centre were openly involved and meddled in the just concluded polls. She alleged that the Kuki militants openly supported the Congress candidates, while Naga People’s Front (NPF) was supported by the NSCN-IM.

“Voters in the hill districts failed to get their franchise rights in most of the polling stations and it is quite necessary that re-poll be conducted in the areas where polling process had been paralyzed and manipulated by militants”, Kim demanded.

The Manipur unit Trinamool president also said money and muscle power were used as  tools to woo voters against the model code of conduct issued by ECI. Two Trinamool workers were kidnapped by a Congress supporter in one of the pre-poll incidents, she alleged, adding that a white Bolero jeep bearing no. MNO2-3390 was also used in the kidnapping.

The Kuki militant groups under SoO actively helped the Congress in the polls, Kim further alleged and said that the Saikot polling booth was captured by Congress supporters and no official came up to enquire into the incident.

A formal complaint will be lodged to ECI regarding all the malpractices and fraudulent polling and call for re-poll in almost all the hill Constituencies, she added.

Meanwhile, the BJP today also demanded re-poll in at least eight polling stations in Chief Minister Okram Ibobi bastion 31-Thoubal Constituency on Monday.

In Thoubal Constituency, the presiding officer and the other poll personnel were deputed mostly from Thoubal district and Sugnu and this was a gross violation of the ECI guidelines, BJP national general secretary, Tapir Gao told reporters at Manipur Pradesh BJP office here.

Tapir also said using mobile phones in taking photograph of voter during the polling process was really an absurd policy of the ECI. The party has demanded suspension of the concerned Returning Officer and eight presiding Officers of Thoubal, he added.

In one of the polling stations in the hill, one person sat near the EVM and would press the buttons after asking the voters which candidates they were choosing, the former MP from Arunachal Pradesh alleged.

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