Lilong, Wangjing-Tentha to go for by polls on Nov 7
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 29 2020: Out of the 13 Assembly segments which are currently vacant, Lilong AC and Wangjing-Tentha AC would go to by-polls on November 7 .

A press note issued by the Election Commission of India (ECI) today announced the schedule for by-elections to 56 vacant seats of different State Assemblies and one Parliamentary Constituency of Bihar.

Briefing media persons in the conference hall of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) at Lamphelpat today, Joint CEO Ramananda Nongmeikapam said that as the schedule for by-election to Lilong AC and Wangjing-Tentha AC has been announced, the model code of conduct has come into force with immediate effect in Thoubal district.

As announced by the ECI, due notification for by-election to the two Assembly seats would be issued on October 13 .

Lilong, Wangjing-Tentha to go for by polls on Nov 7
Lilong, Wangjing-Tentha to go for by polls on Nov 7

While the last date for submission of nomination papers has been fixed on October 20, scrutiny would be done on October 21.The last date for withdrawal of nomination papers is October 23 .

Voting would be held on November 7 and counting on November 10 .

The entire election process would be completed by November 12 .

The Joint CEO informed that there are 32,398 voters in Lilong AC (15,877 males, 16,518 females and three 3rd genders.

The total number of voters in Wangjing-Tentha AC is 31,213 (15,053 males and 16,160 females) .

As suggested by the ECI in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic, there would be one additional auxiliary polling station for each polling station which has more than 1000 voters.

In line with this suggestion, 10 auxiliary polling stations would be opened in Lilong AC which means the total number of polling stations would be raised from 39 to 49 .

There would be four auxiliary polling stations in Wangjing-Tentha AC, raising the total polling stations from 39 to 43, Ramananda said.

He said that postal ballots would be provided to voters above 80 years, persons with disabilities, COVID patients, persons suspected to be infected by COVID-19 and quarantined people.

Polling officers would be appointed in order to provide postal ballots to these categories of voters one day ahead of the polling day.

The ECI has published broad guidelines for conduct of general election/by-election during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to these guidelines, face masks should be used in all election-related activities and everyone should be subjected to thermal scanning before they are allowed to enter halls/offices/buildings designated for election purposes.

Sanitisers, water and soaps should be arranged at these places.

Moreover, social distancing norms should be strictly complied with as prescribed by the Ministry of Home Affairs and sufficient number of vehicles should be requisitioned for transportation of polling and security personnel.

The ECI guidelines also lay down dos and don'ts which must be followed by political parties starting from preparatory stage till the completion of campaign.

In addition, efforts are on to appoint a State health nodal office and one nodal officer for each Assembly segment exclusively for the by-election, Ramananda said.

To a query, the Joint CEO said that the total number of seats vacant in the Manipur Legislative Assembly should be 14 but Thanga AC may no longer be counted as vacant as the incumbent MLA's disqualification order has been stayed by Court.

Presumably, the ECI announced the schedule for by-election to Lilong AC and Wangjing-Tentha AC in the first phase against the 13 Assembly seats which are currently vacant after considering the election petitions, petitions filed at Court against disqualification orders and other litigations.

In addition to Lilong and Wangjing-Tentha, the Manipur Legislative Assembly had declared that Andro, Lamlai, Wangkhei, Naoriya Pakhanglakpa, Wangoi, Kumbi, Kakching, Singngat, Henglep, Saitu and Tamenglong Assembly segments too are vacant.

With the election scheduled now announced, the model code of conduct has come into force with immediate effect not only in Lilong AC and Wangjing-Tentha AC but the whole of Thoubal district, said the Joint CEO.

Nonetheless, Government activities which are not related to the two Assembly segments and Thoubal district may go on as usual as directed by the ECI, he added.

Wangjing-Tentha AC and Lilong AC were declared vacant after P Brojen and Abdul Nasir resigned from the membership of Manipur Legislative Assembly.

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