TODAY -

Free and fair by-election: a blatant lie
- Imphal Times Editorial :: November 06 2020 -



Free and fair by-election: a blatant lie as no disclosures on who can cast vote through ballot paper

On October 6, the chief Electoral Officer of Manipur (CEO) PK Singh announced the by-election scheduled for the five assembly constituencies of the state. Now after the withdrawal of Independent candidate Chinlungthang from contesting the by-election at Singhat Assembly Constituency, the by-election is all set to conduct at 4 assembly constituencies, as BJP candidate Ginsuanhau has been already elected untested.

After BJP already win in the Singnhat assembly constituency, a total of 10 candidates are in the fray in the remaining four assembly constituencies.

Three candidates are in the fray at Wangoi Assembly constituency, four candidate are going to have a tough fight for the seat at Lilong Assembly constituency, after a woman independent candidate had withdrawn her candidature , Three candidates are fighting for the seat at Wangjing Tentha Assembly Constituency. While two are having straight fights at Saitu assembly constituency.

As Singhngat has elected its candidate uncontested, a total of 1,31,519 will cast the vote for electing 4 candidates from the 4 assembly constituency on the by-poll scheduled on November 7.

On that day for announcement of the by-election, Manipur CEO PK Singh has stated that postal ballot would be available to elderly persons, persons with disabilities and those COVID-19 patient who are under quarantine, while announcing other code of conduct that has to be followed.

The idea of postal ballot to elderly people, PWDS and those undergoing treatment or either kept in isolation is perhaps a much-needed action as this election is being conducting during COVID-19 pandemic.

As per report made available to media by the directorate of Health Services, total number of COVID-19 positive case has reached 19503 till yesterday.

This number may cross 20,000 either today or tomorrow as the number of people tested positive in the last two days cross 200.

NO doubt the recovery rate is doing good with 15618 discharged so far, but the active case till yesterday is 3698. And we know the number death has also reached 187.

For reason best known to the state government health services authority they have made public the number positive COVID-19 case in the four assembly constituencies where the election is scheduled on November 7 has not been let known to the public.

No report about the total number positive COVID-19 cases has been put in the public domain for the 4 assembly constituencies where the by-election is conducting in the next two days.

The state social welfare department has also didn’t published the number of PWD eligible voters for the four assembly constituencies.

On October 13 , 2020, Health and family welfare department of the government of Manipur had issued an order for identification of the District Surveillance Officers (Health and Family Welfare Department) of Imphal West/ Thoubal/Kangpokpi/Churachandpur as district Nodal Officers (Health) of their respective districts and Assembly level Nodal Officers (Heath) for issue of “Certificate to be submitted by COVID-19 Suspects/ Affected Persons” for the forthcoming By-Election at 5 Assembly constituencies.

However till today, there has not been report of any such appointment of nodal officer to verify those who needed postal ballot for casting of the vote.

There seems some conspiracy likely to happen in the upcoming by-election as transparency in this part is not seen.

The much talk about free and fair election may be a flop show as there are possibilities of misusing the preventive measures for breaking the chain of COVID-19 in this by-election.



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