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Business News/ Elections / Lok Sabha elections 2024: Repolling at 11 Manipur polling stations on due to incidents of firing, EVM destruction
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Lok Sabha elections 2024: Repolling at 11 Manipur polling stations on due to incidents of firing, EVM destruction

Firing case in Manipur Lok Sabha polling station: Fresh polling ordered at 11 stations in Inner Manipur Lok Sabha constituencies on April 22 after allegations of electoral malpractices, including booth capturing and EVM destruction.

A view of a polling station that was damaged by a crowd during the first phase of the general election, in Khurai in Imphal East, Manipur (REUTERS)Premium
A view of a polling station that was damaged by a crowd during the first phase of the general election, in Khurai in Imphal East, Manipur (REUTERS)

Manipur Lok Sabha constituency: The Chief Electoral Officer announced on April 20 that repolling will be conducted at 11 polling stations in the Inner Manipur Lok Sabha constituencies on April 22. This decision was made following a directive from the Election Commission, which declared the initial polls held on April 19 null and void, necessitating a new round of voting.

The repolling will affect several locations including Moirangkampu Sajeb and Thongam Leikai in the Khurai constituency, four stations in Kshetrigao, one in Thongju within the Imphal East district, along with three in Uripok and one in Konthoujam in the Imphal West district.

This decision comes amid reports of violence and electoral malpractices during the initial voting phase, including incidents of firing, voter intimidation, and destruction of electronic voting machines. There were also allegations of booth capturing, notably in a region that saw a voter turnout of 72% across the two Lok Sabha constituencies of Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur.

Earlier in the day, before the announcement of repolling, the Manipur Congress, led by President K Meghachandra, had raised concerns over electoral integrity, demanding repolling at 47 stations. They alleged booth capturing and rigging, specifically calling for action in 36 stations in the Inner Manipur constituency and 11 in the Outer Manipur constituencies.

What happened at Manipur polling stations?

Reports emerged from conflict-affected Manipur of firing, intimidation, and destruction of electronic voting machines (EVMs) at several polling booths, alongside allegations of booth capturing during the first phase of Lok Sabha elections on April 19. The state has been grappling with ethnic violence since May of the previous year.

From the same firing incident, one civilian was reported to be injured after the firing, and clashes were reported at a polling booth in Moirangkampu Sajeb Awang Leikai of Imphal, Manipur, during voting in the Lok Sabha elections.

Political party's blame game

Both the BJP and the Congress have accused each other of inciting violence and violating the election Model Code of Conduct during this tense period. Despite ongoing conflicts, Manipur has historically demonstrated robust voter engagement, with a remarkable 82% turnout recorded in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

 

(With Inputs from Agencies)

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Published: 21 Apr 2024, 07:01 AM IST
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