| Okram Ibobi Singh |
Imphal, Feb. 9: Opposition parties urged the Election Commission to reject the decisions taken by the Okram Ibobi Singh cabinet last evening, charging that the decisions were in violation of the election code of conduct.
The cabinet yesterday decided to give a government job each to the families of the four polling personnel killed at a shootout in Chandel district on January 28.
It also decided to extend a sum of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of three CRPF personnel killed during election duty in Chandel and Ukhrul districts and one BSF personnel who died in a road accident.
A sum of Rs 1 lakh will be given to the next of kin of three civilians killed in poll-related violence.
The cabinet also made changes in the state health services rules during yesterday’s sitting in the state Assembly.
“The election model code of conduct is still in force and the commitment given by the government to provide jobs to the families of four polling personnel was in clear violation of the election code,” said Sanasam Umananda, vice-president and now president-in-charge of Manipur People’s Party (MPP).
A source in the cabinet said it did not take permission of the Election Commission for taking the decisions and was now trying to seek consent of the commission through the office of the state’s chief electoral officer P.C. Lawmkunga for implementation of the decisions.
The MPP leader demanded that the commission should not give its permission to the cabinet decision as it had violated the poll code of conduct.
The BJP also urged the Election Commission to take the cabinet decision seriously and look into the matter.
“The election code is in force till all the results are declared. Yesterday’s decisions by the cabinet breached the election conduct,” Tapir Gao, the BJP’s Manipur in-charge, said.
Counting of votes will take place on March 6 and until the new government is formed, the current government cannot make any commitments, Opposition parties said.
Radhabinod Koijam, NCP Manipur unit president and former chief minister, also echoed his protest, asking what was the urgency of the cabinet to amend the health services rules at the fag end of the term.
“The cabinet meet violated election code of conduct,” Koijam said.
The cabinet source, however, felt it did not do anything wrong as it had already sought the permission of the Election Commission for implementation of the decisions.