| A polling official seals an EVM after the close of voting at a booth in Senapati. (AP) |
Imphal, April 10: Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh today took a tough stand against the NSCN (I-M) for its alleged interference in yesterday’s polling for the Outer Manipur parliamentary constituency.
“The NSCN (I-M), which is having peace talks with the Centre interfered in yesterday’s polling and used force to capture booths. The state government will take stern action against NSCN (I-M) cadres for this,” Ibobi Singh said today.
The chief minister accompanied by N. Biren Singh and Janghemlung Panmei, two Congress MLAs, today visited the private residence of Deputy Speaker M.K. Preshow Shimray who escaped unhurt in a bomb attack by militants in Ukhrul district yesterday.
Shimray’s car felt the impact of an IED blast at Litan along Imphal-Ukhrul road. Shimray, however, escaped unhurt as he was travelling in the bullet-proof car which was partially damaged.
Shimray was returning to Imphal after casting his vote at Poi village in his Chingai Assembly constituency in Ukhrul district.
Ibobi Singh did not directly blame the NSCN (I-M) for the attack. He, however, hinted that the militant group was involved in the attack.
“Law and order is a state subject. The state government will take stern actions against those found involved in the interference of the voting.”
Ibobi Singh also said he had informed the Centre about the militant group’s interference in polling.
The BJP yesterday lodged a written complaint with the Election Commission against alleged rigging of polls by NSCN (I-M) cadres and Kuki militant groups in 57 polling stations in Senapati, Ukhrul, Churachandpur and Chandel districts.
The Congress candidate and sitting MP Thangso Baite also lodged a complaint with the commission alleging that NSCN (I-M) cadres captured booths and prevented Congress agents in 15 polling stations in Ukhrul and Chandel districts.
The two political parties demanded that the repoll be held in these polling stations.
The exact number of polling stations, which will go to the repoll is yet to be decided by the state’s chief electoral officer O. Nabakishore Singh’s office.
“We are yet to finalise the total number of polling stations where repoll will be held. We have, however, recommended to the Election Commission for holding repoll in two polling stations in Chandel district where electronic voting machines were damaged by anti-social elements,” the office said.
Nabakishore Singh sought reports from deputy commissioners on troubled polling stations.
The office said so far the poll percentage was 82, but this might go up as all reports were yet to come.
The election authorities used four choppers to collect the EVMs.