Ensure free, fair polls in Manipur, Congress urges EC

BJP govt. released funds to insurgent groups, violating MCC, says party

March 04, 2022 09:36 pm | Updated 11:44 pm IST - New Delhi

Photo used for representation purpose only.

Photo used for representation purpose only.

Alleging that militant outfits are intimidating voters to influence the ongoing Assembly polls in Manipur, the Congress on Friday approached the Election Commission (EC) to ensure a free and fair poll.

The Congress delegation, that met the EC ahead of the second phase polling on Saturday, took up the issue of the BJP-led State government releasing funds to militant groups under the suspension of operation agreement in violation of the model code of conduct (MCC) that is in force. The delegation, comprising of senior AICC observer for Manipur, Jairam Ramesh and former Law Minister Salman Khurshid, met the Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.

Voters intimidated

In a memorandum submitted to the EC, the Congress claimed that ₹15.70 crore on February 1 and ₹92.65 lakh on March 1 were released to banned militant groups by the State government.

The party also flagged a statement issued by the president of the banned Kuki National Organisation, asking electors to vote for the BJP and threatening them with dire consequences if they did not. All these issues will have “far reaching consequences,” the Congress argued.

Accusing the the BJP of resoirting to goondagardi’ (strong arm) tactics during the first phase of Manipur polls, Mr Ramesh said, “We urged them [ECI] to intervene to ensure free and fair polls in Phase-2 tomorrow,” after the meeting.

The Congress also alleged intimidation and threats from underground outfits to people attending its meetings and poll-related violence and criminal intimidation witnessed by its leaders and workers during the campaign. Mr Ramesh said despite their concern, six people accused of poll violence, which led to a murder, were released on bail in the first week of March in Heirok.

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