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Cadres in camps allowed to vote

Imphal, April 16: Cadres of seven militant groups that have suspension of operations agreements with the government will be allowed to cast votes at their respective polling stations when polling is held for the Inner Manipur constituency tomorrow.

Currently, 584 cadres belonging to these groups are living in designated camps.

The state’s chief electoral officer, O. Nabakishore Singh, said preparations were complete to make tomorrow’s polls trouble-free.

A 24-hour strike called by the Maoist Communist Party, Manipur, today did not hamper deployment of polling personnel in the Inner Manipur constituency — which comprises 32 Assembly constituencies in the four valley districts of Imphal West, Imphal East, Bishnupur and Thoubal.

Maoist Communist Party, Manipur, had called today’s strike to protest against the Congress candidate and sitting MP Thokchom Meinya Singh’s “failure to perform in Parliament”.

The strike did, however, affect normal life in the valley with markets remaining shut and educational institutions remaining closed. Transport services were also suspended. There was no report of any violence.

Meinya Singh, who is seeking re-election for the third consecutive term, is among eight candidates in the fray for Inner Manipur seat.

The other candidates are Moirangthen Nara Singh (CPI), R.K. Ranjan Singh (BJP), Sarangthem Manaobi (Trinamul Congress), Kh. Ibomcha Singh (Aam Aadmi Party), Oinam Jotin Singh (Jai Maha Bharat Party), Gurumayum Tonsana Sharma (Manipur Democratic Peoples Front) and Indira Oinam (Independent).

The chief electoral officer said 136 companies of security forces would be used for tomorrow’s polling from 7am to 4pm. One section of armed paramilitary forces would be deployed in each hypersensitive and sensitive booth.

The seven groups, whose cadres will be allowed to vote, are United Revolutionary Front, Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (Military Defence Force), Kangleipak Communist Party (Lamphel), United People’s Party of Kangleipak, United Tribal Liberation Army, Kangleipak Communist Party (Nongdrenkhomba) and Kangleipak Communist Party Military Council (Lallumba).

Nabakishore Singh said arrangements to allow the cadres to vote in their respective polling stations were made after consultations with director-general of police Sahid Ahmed.

“We will provide them security while coming to their polling stations. We have also discussed the arrangements with Sambhu Singh, joint secretary in the Union home ministry,” Nabakishore Singh said.


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