Pre-poll clashes in parts of Manipur

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Photographs of candidates to be displayed in EVMs

Imphal: Pre-poll clashes have been reported from some parts in Manipur following the announcement of the state assembly elections, officials said on Thursday. In Heirok, Thoubal district, the police resorted to firing tear-gas shells to disperse an unruly mob.

“Some cars and jeeps had been overturned and pushed into ditches,” officials said. N. Sovakiran, President of the the Manipur People’s Party, was arrested for inciting violence in Heirok, damaging vehicles and also for beating up Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers who were holding a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

The villagers of Heirok later held a meeting and resolved that Sovakiran will be boycotted in the constituency. They also demanded that he pay for the damaged vehicles. Meanwhile, over 12 persons were injured in clashes in the Keirao constituency on Wednesday night. The injured persons accused supporters of the BJP’s Keirao unit leader M.I. Khan of attacking them. The elections to the Manipur assembly will be held between February 4 to March 8. The results will be out on March 11.

Meanwhile, electronic voting machines (EVMs) will display photographs of candidates in the upcoming Assembly Elections in Manipur and Uttarakhand, V K Dewangan, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), said. This provision will be provided in the two states for the first time in the country, he told a press conference here on Wednesday.

A total of 18,07,843 voters are eligible to vote in two phases on March 4 and 8 next to elect 60 MLAs to the Manipur Assembly. 2,794 polling stations will be set up in the state. The first phase of polling on March 4 will cover 38 Assembly constituencies in six districts.

The second phase of polling on March 8 next will cover the remaining 22 assembly constituencies in ten districts. With the announcement of the Manipur assembly election on March 4 and 8 next by the Election Commission on Thursday. The model code of conduct has came into immediate effect.

An office memorandum issued on Thursday by state Chief Secretary O Nabakishore Singh said, according to the election code of conduct, ministers and other authorities should not announce any financial grant in any form.

Lay of any foundation stone of projects or schemes of any kind, make any promise of construction of road, provision of drinking water facility and make any ad-hoc appointment in government, public sector undertaking for influencing the voters in favour of the party in power.

There should not be misuse of official vehicle belonginging to central and state governments, public undertakings of central or state governments, local bodies, municipal corporation, marketing boards, co-operative societies or any other bodies in which public funds, whether in small portion or in total, are invested, the memorandum added. (Agencies)

Source: The Shillong Times

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