Imphal, March 07 2022: Voters of seven polling stations spread across five assembly constituencies, where elections were held in the second phase on March 5 will exercise their franchise rights afresh on Tuesday as the Election Commission of India (ECI) declared the votes polled as null and void.
A release by Manipur Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Rajesh Agrawal informed that the ECI has under sub-section (2) of Section 58 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, declared that the poll taken on March 5 at seven polling stations as null and void and scheduled March 8 as the date for re-poll from 7 AM to 4 PM, in accordance with the Commission’s instructions contained in Chapter XIII of the Hand Book for Returning Officers, 2019.The seven polling stations going for re-poll are 34/9-Wangjing Hodamba of Wangjing Tentha assembly constituency, 44/45-Ukhrul (E-2) of Ukhrul (ST) AC, 45/25-Kalhang and 45/31-Peh (B) of Chingai (ST) AC, 47/49-Ngamju of Karong (ST) AC, 49/4-Yangkhullen (A) and 49/51-Mao Marafii of Tadubi (ST) Assembly Constituency.
The main reason for consideration of re-polling, the CEO said, was connected to damage of EVMs by miscreants during and after the polling process.
While noting that such incidents infringe upon the rights of voters and inconvenience caused is regretted, he urged the electors of the said polling stations to make use of their rightful franchise again on the day of re-poll.
The decision for re-poll in Ukhrul and Senapati districts was taken following reports of violence on the day of polling on Saturday, where 22 assembly constituencies voted in Phase 2 of the election across 1,247 polling stations.
The CEO advised district election officers concerned to take necessary actions as per the ECI directions.
Wide publicity of the programme of re-poll/fresh poll will be given in polling areas concerned and political parties and contesting candidate be informed in writing, the CEO added.
In Senapati district, there were some 13 re-polls in the 2017 assembly elections, 11 in the 2019 Lok Sabha MP elections.
Speaking during dispersal of polling officials at Mini Secretariat, Senapati DC Mahesh Chaudhari informed that under the guidance of the SP, adequate security arrangements have been made for each polling station including confidence building measures.
The DC then urged all voters to come forward without any hesitation for free and fair elections asking all to exercise their franchise which is very important to decide one’s future.
All polling officials have been sent to their designated polling stations in the evening.
Meanwhile, prohibitory orders have been clamped across the revenue jurisdiction of Ukhrul district with effect from 7 pm on Monday till 7 pm on March 10 in view of the re-poll in two polling stations under Chingai AC and one booth under Ukhrul AC on Tuesday.
Ukhrul district magistrate Krishna Kumar issued the prohibitory orders under section 144 Criminal Procedure of Code on Monday evening, stating that in view of the emergent situation and shortage of time the order was passed ex-parte and addressed to the public in general.
“In view of past experience and inputs available, there is every apprehension of arising of disturbance of Law and Order which may hinder smooth/free/fair conduct of re-poll to the 12th Manipur State General Assembly Election.
It is necessary that preventive measures should be in place for smooth and fair conduct of the re-poll,” it said.
The order said that no person shall be allowed to enter or assemble within the radius of 100 metres of the polling station where re-poll is being conducted except voters for casting their vote and persons authorised under Law and engaged for the conduct of the same.
It continued that voters shall be allowed to enter only after proper scrutiny and having proper identity proof.
“Voters shall immediately leave the polling stations after casting their vote.
Voters or any other person shall not be allowed to assemble within the premises or 200 metre radius of polling stations”.
No persons shall be allowed to carry or have in possession of any type of offensive/defensive weapon, lathi, sword/firearms etc., except the personnel engaged to maintain the security of the polling stations.
The order further prohibits gathering/assembly or procession, though the same shall not apply to Police or Para-military persons or any other government servant on official duties.