ECI restricts canvassing in 3rd phase, MPP cries foul
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 22: President of MPP, Dr L Chandramani received a taste of the latest instructions issued by the Election Commission of India when he was stopped from proceeding towards Churachandpur district to campaign for the third phase poll at Moirang Lamkhai today.

Dr Chandramani was stopped from proceeding towards Churachandpur, following the instructions of the Election Commission which clearly states that candidates who had contested in the first and second phase poll held on February 8 and February 14 will not be allowed to campaign in the third phase polling which is scheduled for tomorrow.

Churachandpur, Chandel, Tamenglong districts and Jiribam sub-division will go to the polls in the third phase.

Clearly peeved with the new development, the MPP has lodged a complaint with the Chief Electoral Officer claiming that while its men were stopped from canvassing in the third phase, Congress Ministers and MLAs have already sneaked into the three districts, particularly at Nungba Assembly Constituency to campaign for their candidates.

MPCC (I) president Gaikhangam is contesting from Nungba Assembly Constituency.

Following the submission of the complaint, the CEO has asked the General Secretary of the MPCC (I) to furnish necessary details.

Dr L Chandramani said that this is the first time that such an instruction has been issued by the ECI and added that it is not a positive move.

Another MPP leader Th Chaoba, while interacting with the media, said that since many Congress leaders have entered the three districts which will go to polls tomorrow for campaigning, the MPP too should be allowed to do the same.

Or else the instructions should be withdrawn, he demanded.

Significantly the new instruction of the ECI came following the reply given by the Chief Minister to the CEO that he was not present at Keirao AC on February 14 when an EVM was snatched by some women, necessitating repoll.

Initial reports had said that the Chief Minister and Congress candidate from Keirao Allauddin were present near the polling station when the incident took place.

To effectively implement the order which seeks to restrict the movement of political dignitaries or candidate in any Assembly Constituency where he/she is not a candidate in the third phase polling to be held tomorrow, barricades have been set up at different points.

The prohibition on movement would be in force till the close of polling hour, said the CEO in a statement and added that specific barricades have been set up at Kakching Lamkhai and Sugnu road, Keithelmanbi and Bishnupur district for checking movement to Chandel, Tamenglong and Churachandpur districts respectively.