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CPI push for poll reforms

Imphal, May 19: After losing to the Congress in the Manipur Inner seat, the state unit of the CPI today said it would soon launch a campaign to make voters aware of the importance of Lok Sabha elections and the need to check electoral malpractices.

State CPI secretary Moirangthem Nara Singh lost to sitting MP Thokchom Meinya of the Congress for the third consecutive time in Inner Manipur.

“The ruling Congress swept the polls in Manipur because of largescale proxy voting and use of money and muscle power. The results of the polls did not reflect the real choice of the voters. So we do not accept the results,” Nara Singh told reporters here.

In Outer Manipur, sitting MP Thangso Baite (Congress) retained the seat by defeating Naga Peoples Front (NPF) candidate Soso Lorho.

Saying the Congress could indulge in largescale proxy voting because of reluctance by voters to turn up and exercise their democratic rights, Nara Singh said the CPI would soon launch an electoral awareness campaign.

“People here consider Lok Sabha election as one of Delhi. So many voters did not turn up at the booths to cast votes giving advantage to the Congress. So there is the need to create awareness among voters,” he said.

Nara Singh, one of the coordinators of Campaign for Electoral Reforms in India, a nationwide movement, said the national campaign would also be intensified to rectify flaws in the current electoral process.

“The existing system breeds corruption, which is the root of all the problems in India today. Therefore, the system needs to be changed,” he said.

Nara Singh said the national campaign forum and the state CPI would press the new Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre to reform the electoral system. “Let's see how the new government responds to it.”

In another development, Gangmumei Kamei, who was the BJP candidate for Outer seat, said Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio’s statement that the NPF candidate had lost because of fielding of Gangmumei and Independent candidate Mani Charenamai, was nothing but a “deplorable and contemptuous wild allegation”.

All the three candidates belong to the Naga community.

“It is widely known that armed cadres of the NSCN (I-M) captured more than 120 polling stations on behalf of the NPF candidate in the Naga-dominated districts. The NPF’s failure in this election is due to the NSCN (I-M) cadres’ failure to completely control the polling,” Gangmumei said.