TODAY -

Showing ugly face of muscle power : Studying the repoll trend
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: April 30, 2024 -



Muscle and Money Power. Add Gun Power to the list of Power and the script is ready to capture in print the election to the two seats of the Lok Sabha held for Manipur.

The people may have spoken and sealed the fates of the candidates in so far as the Inner seat is concerned, but the fact of the matter is when repoll was ordered in as many as 11 polling stations what is the guarantee that the election was free and fair in all the other polling stations ?

The Outer Parliamentary Constituency too has taken a somewhat similar trajectory with the Election Commission of India ordering repoll in 6 polling stations, the date for which has been fixed on April 30.

Take note. Repoll is ordered only when trouble breaks out at any polling station, meaning there were voices of opposition raised to any strong arm tactics that could have been employed.

But this does not answer the question of whether such strong arm tactics were employed or not at the other polling stations ?

This poser should apply to both the Lok Sabha seats.

Unofficial it may be, but it is not without reason why one gets to hear of so many stories doing the round of how the understanding of a free and fair poll was dismissed with a wave of the hand or with the brandishing of a stern/threatening look or whatever handy there might be to wave to the people.

Live video footage of muscle power or bulldozing one’s way with the security personnel just soaking in the drama has already gone viral on the social media and one wonders why there has been no report of the police or law enforcing agencies taking up any action against the person/s responsible for the blatant show of muscle power.

Or damaged or wrecked electronic voting machines doing the round and inviting sarcastic comments from the public.

A reality this is, and it is against this background that six polling stations in the Outer Parliamentary Constituencies are set to go for repoll on April 30.

Will the repoll be fair, is the question that is doing the round.

Just a few hours away but where is the guarantee that the same elements who turned the beautiful understanding of adult franchise into an occasion of muscle flexing exercise will not repeat their ‘feat’ as witnessed on April 26 ?

With no report of a single individual being pulled up for throwing their weight around, it is not surprising to see the general resignation to the reality that there is nothing to suggest that the repoll would be in any way better than what happened on April 26.

What is stopping the police and the law enforcing agencies from cracking the whip, despite the fact that the video clippings clearly show the identity of the people instilling fear and apprehension amongst the voters ?

Can’t a suo motto case be taken up ?

Repoll is itself an undeniable admission that there were serious lapses when the election was held as scheduled and this is where it becomes crucially important for the lawn enforcing agencies to take up the needed steps to ensure that such a fiasco is not repeated when the repolling is held.

Is the election authority geared up to meet any challenges when the 6 polling stations go for repoll on April 30 or will it be just an official ritual ?

Only time will tell, but it is also crucial for everyone to acknowledge that repoll is held only when the irregularities become too jarring that it leads to a confrontation between two parties.

In other instances it could be a case of the people meekly toeing the line of the diktats being imposed by the power players.

There is no guarantee that such a possibility will not happen when the 6 Constituencies go for the repoll on April 30.

Not the first time that this is being underlined here, but this is the first time in recent memory that the Lok Sabha election here has evoked so much interest and while the issues in the Inner seat and Outer Constituency may be poles apart, it stands that the two men Manipur gets to send to Lok Sabha have a huge responsibility on their shoulder.

It is in realisation of this immense importance that so much interest has been placed on the outcome of the election and it is precisely because of this that there were resistances and will be resistances when the free choice of the people is sought to be muted.



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