TODAY -
All polling stations in hills hyper sensitive: Parties
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, March 07 2009: Reprentatives of all political parties today urged the Cheif Electoral Officer (CEO), Manipur, Sambhu Singh to declare all the polling stations in the hill districts as hyper sensitive and also to install close circuit television (CCTV) at the polling stations.

The issue was discussed at a meeting of representatives of all political parties functioning in the state convened by the CEO, Manipur at the Main Conference Hall of Old Secretariat, South Block here at 2.30 pm.

Initiating the discussion, CEO Sambhu Singh asked the representatives of all political parties for suggestions on which polling stations should be sensitive and which should be hyper sensitive.

He is reported to have told the representatives of political parties that it has come to his notice that in certain hill areas, armed militants and some village chiefs rig the polls by casting the votes altogether for the candidates of their choice.

He asked the representatives to share their opinions in this regard.

To a question on who selected the hyper-sensitive and sensitive areas, the CEO said that respective Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police have identified the areas.

The representatives of All Political Parties have expressed their disapproval that the hyper-sensitive and sensitive areas have been selected by the DCs and SPs while also informing the CEO that the all political parties will submit a representation on Monday over the matter.

While inquiring what measures have been taken so far to make certain that voters in hill areas exercise their franchise, the all political parties' representatives have also reportedly urged the CEO to install CCTVs at all polling stations in hill areas so as to ascertain accurately whether the voters are casting their votes or not.

Attributing the militants actively operating in hill areas as the cause of no free and fair elections, the all political parties representatives have also urged the CEO to take measures so that the underground groups of the hill � currently engaged in peace talks and having ceasefire agreement with the government � do not operate out of their designated camps with arms.

The political parties' delegates have also told the CEO that the imposition of curfew has hampered campaigning process.

They were also reported to have informed that MLAs and ministers of the government have the privilege to travel around with their scouts and have no problem in campaigning during curfew hours while also insisting the CEO to consider the imposition of curfew as a serious matter.

The delegates have also purportedly urged the CEO to convene a meeting of all DCs and SDOs to ensure that all voters get their respective voters' identity card.

Prior to this meeting, the Chief Electoral Officer, Shambhu Singh has also convened another meeting of all deputy commissioners, superintendents of police, additional deputy commissioners of Jiribam and Kangpokpi, and SDOs for the enforcement of election Model Code of Conduct at the Main Conference Hall, Old Secretariat, South Block.

The meeting was reported to have discussed various issues which inter alia included setting up of state and district level committees for enforcement of model code of conduct, setting up of state and district level control rooms, status of photo electoral rolls, use of e-mail facilities for transmission of information, polling station verification, classification of polling stations, matters relating to EVMs, publication of list of polling stations, counting centres, complaint monitoring system, observers and micro-observers, randomization software for appointment of polling personnel, requisition of vehicles, district maps etc.


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