Senapati braves rain to exercise franchise rights
Source: The Sangai Express

Senapati, February 08: Except for sporadic incidents of proxy voting and commotions triggered amongst supporters of rival candidates, the first phase of the 9th State Assembly election conducted in six Assembly segments of Senapati district on Thursday was by and large peaceful.

Though the voters� turn out in the morning was low owing to the incessant rain, the overall poll percentage in all the six Assembly segments of the district � Karong, Mao, Tadubi, Saitu , Saikul and Kangpokpi - was over 90 percent, official sources said.

After the rain stopped, people came out in large number to exercise their voting rights under the strict vigil of paramilitary forces.

DC Senapati Dr Prem Singh, who culled reports from his subordinate officials said the overall poll percent in the district was over 90.�But I need to get the final report from the officials�, Singh told reporters at his office chamber.

Congress candidate for Tadubi Constituency Francis Ngajokpa lodged a complaint with the DC (Returning Officer) Senapati requesting him to conduct repoll in 18 polling stations on the ground that workers of his rival candidates indulged in proxy voting.

Confirming the complaint, the RO said the matter would be despatched to the Election Commission through the Chief Electoral Officer for doing the needful, if any.

He informed that owing to commotions in some polling stations in the district, polling process was stalled for some time, however, it was resumed after negotiations.

Meanwhile workers of Ngajokpa alleged that some people alleged to be supporters of United Naga Council (UNC) consensus candidate K Raina barged into Katomai Primary School polling station and bashed up three women charging them of supporting the Congress.

�The unidentified men came and bashed up the women with sticks� said B Kaningba, and named one of the victims as Tarula.

On the other hand Raina dismissed all the charges mounted by Ngajokpa�s supporters and the complaint lodged by Francis himself as well.

The independent candidate counter-charged Ngajokpa saying that he was blocked to enter inside Willong, the native village of Ngajokpa.

�When I moved to his village, supporters of Ngajokpa put huge logs at the entrance road in the morning�, Raina alleged.

�My agents were not allowed to enter the polling station at Willong,� he added.

Later the road was cleared and subsequently he also learnt that his supporters numbering 50 to 60 were herded inside a house by Ngajokpa�s men only to kill time and miss their voting.

Even as the verbal onslaught between the workers of the two rival candidates continued in many of the polling stations within Tadubi constituency till the end of the poll time at 3.30pm, a number of Naga voters expressed deep concern over the slashing down of voters in the electoral roll in respect of Saitu constituency where no Naga candidate is fielded.

John R Maram a resident of T Khullen in the same constituency said most of the Naga voters have decided not to support the Congress candidate.