Re-polls inevitable as mass discrepancies discovered during photo comparison

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Candid Camera: These few comparisions provides a peek into the gross discrepepancies discovered between the mug shots of electorates in the electoral roll bank (left) and those taken at the polling booths

Exposing the rampancy of muscle power and intimidation in the hill districts at the recently conducted Manipur Assembly polls, tell-tale irregularities have been noticed while comparing the photos of the voters shot at the polling stations and the voters electoral roll bank. Repoll in several stations are expected. As a means of emphasizing transparency in the polls, the ECI laid down norms that the voters should be photographed at the polling station bearing the ink mark on the finger and later compared with the photos in the electoral roll post poll.
The voters comparison for Chandel, Senapati and Kangpokpi ADC was conducted today at the office complex of the Chief Electoral Office at Lamphelpat, beginning from 11 am today and manually scrutinized by three special observers amidst tight security cover. The photo matching was done following 76 complaints made to the CEO of the state by candidates on grounds of unfair means being carried out at the polling stations, the complaints were later referred to the ECI. Out of the complaints, 35 complaints had been acknowledged and further ordered to the CEO for verification by comparing the photos under scrutiny of the ECI observers.The matching session was conducted at the said complex and telecasted in three television screen which could be witnessed by the complaining candidates and other concerned officials. The television screen listed the gender, age, ID card number, photo in the electoral roll and the photo taken at the time of polling.Media persons present at the site witnessed the tell tale irregularities in the comparison. Photos in the electoral roll of male individuals were compared to female ones and vice versa. Different individuals in the compared photographs, same person impersonating others, women with covered faces,blurred photographs ,photographs taken against the light and cannot be identified, photos of electoral roll missing and vice versa.“It is perceived that there are certain irregularities in the comparisons, the verification reports will be made by the observers to the ECI and we shall see if repolls are recommended”, CEO, Lawmkunga told IFP.
Talking to IFP Daokhomang Khongsai, MLA of Saikhul a/c asserted that the memory card of the mobile phone used for taking photographs of voters at Thangal Surung, 46/14  polling station of the said constituency was reportedly lost and no voter comparison can be made. “ It is clearly evident from the comparisons made today that proxy voting has been rampant and no further complaints need not be made ,the concerned must take up measures for repoll in the identified polling stations”,he stated.
The session was held till 6 pm today and the photo comparisons for Ukhrul and Churachanpur will be held tomorrow.

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