Despite ban, State gears up for polls
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 09: Inspite of the boycott call given by various underground organizations, the Lok Sabha election for the two Parliamentary seats of the State would be held as scheduled on April 20 and 26 by deploying more security forces if necessary, election observers have stated.

A joint meeting of the election observers and representatives of political parties was held at Officers' Club, Lamphel with Chief Election Officer V Chibber in the chair this afternoon to discuss the forthcoming Lok Sabha election.

During the meeting the election observers maintained that election to the two Parliamentary seats of the State should be held as scheduled on the date fixed by the Election Commission of India by deploying adequate security forces to ensure smooth conduct of the polling.

Representatives of various political parties reportedly applied pressure for postponing the election in view of the prevailing law and order condition and the threat given by underground organizations.

However, after hearing their opinion and in consideration of the ground reality, the Chief Electoral Officer and the poll observers made it clear that the election should be held as scheduled.

Chief Electoral Officer and poll observers, from their side, proposed for deploying over 5000 security personnel including non-armed cadres of the State Police Department in all the hypersensitive and sensitive areas besides deploying mobile forces to ensure smooth conduct of the election and the voters could caste their votes fearlessly.

It may be mentioned here that out of the 200 companies of security forces requested by the State Government, the Centre had already provided 15 company of CRPF and another 15 company of BSF.

During the meeting, representatives of the political panics were also shown the video clippings on the demonstration of the use of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) and were urged to curb the election expenditure and respect the Code of Conduct laid down.

In view of the threat from underground organizations, the all political party meeting yesterday had decided to request the Election Commission of India to hold the Lok Sabha election in the State towards the end of the of the election phase as announced by the Commission earlier.

The meeting, while taking note of the Centre's approval of providing only 30 companies of security forces as against 200 companies demanded for free and fair conduct of the election in the State, observed that there would be adequate provision for deployment of security forces, if the election is held in the last phases.