Guwahati: The chief electoral officer (CEO) of Manipur has written to the returning officer of the Outer Manipur parliamentary constituency to enquire into allegations that BJP candidate HS Benjamin Mate violated model poll code.
News18 had on April 7 reported that Kuki National Army, which is under suspension of operation (SOO) with both the state and the central governments, has issued a diktat to village heads to ensure votes for BJP.
CEO PK Singh has called for an enquiry into the matter with regards to Benjamin Mate getting support from KNA, the armed wing of Kuki National Organisation (KNO), to pressurise voters into supporting him with ballots.
“A report along with your considered views and comments may be submitted to the CEO office, Manipur at the earliest for taking further necessary action,” the CEO told in the letter to the Returning Officer.
Singh also stated in the letter that the “Chief secretary, who is in-charge of the home department and the concerned DMs and SPs have already being requested to ensure confinement of these Suspension of Operation (SoO) cadres within their respective designated locations or camps.”
It to be mentioned that News18's exclusive news report stated that the village heads of Manipur were being threatened by the Kuki National Army to ensure that 90% votes are cast for the BJP, otherwise they will be summoned and held responsible, then punished. Thangboi Haokip, the Commander of the KNA has issued the diktat at a gathering in D Muonnaphai village, Moreh where the village chiefs were present. Referring to BJP candidate for outer Manipur, HS Benjamin Mate, he warned that if required violence will be resorted to.
The KNA commander said that despite a lack of active female police or force within the group, a special force comprising 200 women has already been assigned for the polling day (April 11). “Whether men or women, nobody will be spared if they the diktat is not followed,” he said.
Haokip further claimed to have informed the ‘Gaon Bura’ or the head of the village that he needs free movement and may even open fire on the day of polling. There are 21 polling stations in Moreh area and they will check the poll percentage and requires a minimum 90% votes.
A letter to the Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India by National People’s Party (NPP) candidate Thangminlien Kipgen, for Outer Manipur wherein Kipgen states that “the BJP Candidate (Outer) for the 17th Lok Sabha Election, 2019 has been openly using armed KNO/KNA and other militant cadres under suspension of operations (SoO).”
“These well-armed KNO/KNA carders are unlawfully campaigning for Benjamin Mate and coercively instructed all village chiefs to secure 90% of the casted votes in their respective polling stations, otherwise deadly action will be given,” Kipgen stated adding that ‘this is democratically unacceptable and goes against the norms of Indian constituency.’
(Input with Noren Meitei)