Election Commission of India (ECI) has approved fresh polls in 12 polling stations of the inner Manipur parliamentary constituency (IMPC).
Addressing media persons here in Imphal, PK Singh said the re-poll will be conducted on April 24 from 7 am to 4 pm in four assembly constituencies of Imphal East district.
The polling stations where the re-poll was ordered include Heingang Assembly segment (the Assembly constituency where chief minister N. Biren Singh was elected), one in Thongju, four in Keirao and two in Andro Assembly segment.
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Singh said that ample security measures have been taken up to ensure that the re-poll goes on smoothly. “We have minimum of one platoon of central force and another platoon of state force. In addition, extra security forces will be deployed at few polling stations”, Singh said.
Moreover, SDC or other senior officers will be sent as presiding officers while assembly level trainers and master trainers will be made the polling officers, Singh added.
The CE further informed that live webcasting will be done and CCTV cameras will be installed inside and outside the polling stations.
In response to queries raised why there was no webcasting or no CCTV cameras were installed in any of the 45 polling stations under Heingang A/C, the CEO clarified that webcasting or arrangement as such is not compulsory.
The CPI Manipur and Congress had earlier questioned the Government why it had not carried out webcasting in altogether 45 polling stations under the Chief Minister’s constituency before demanding re-poll in all the polling stations.
CEO PK Singh pointed out that as per the instruction of ECI, as much as 10% of the polling stations are required to be scanned through webcasting or CCTV cameras.
Further asserting that the polling stations should have fallen under the critical or vulnerable category, he said that none of the polling stations under Heingang are either critical or vulnerable as per records of the last election.
The CEO further announced that for four polling stations namely, 5/3-Thongju Ningomthong, 10/13-Lamphel Sana Keithel Awang, 10/24-Uripok Bachaspati Leikai and 23/29-Uchiwa, counting will be done through VVPAT slips as mock poll data for the said polling stations was not cleared. This has also been approved by the ECI, he added.
The Communist Party of India candidate Dr M. Nara and Indian National Congress candidate O. Nabakishore had alleged widespread malpractices at different polling stations of BJP stronghold in the recently concluded inner poll on April 18. The duo had also demanded for fresh polls in the polling stations maintaining that the poll held on April 18 was not free and fair.
The recommendation for fresh polls was sent to the ECI by returning officer (RO) of inner Manipur parliamentary constituency (IMPC) after the post-poll scrutiny and going through various complaints and proofs of malpractices.