CPI petitions Sidhu for free poll
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 20: Taking serious note of the alarming and harmful situation in the ongoing election process, particularly in the run up to the third and final phase, the State unit CPI has submitted a memorandum to Governor Dr SS Sidhu.

The memorandum submitted by a team of State CPI leaders headed by its secretary B Sharma today, requested Dr Singh to take immediate action to control and stop the trend and to restore democratic values and also to bring normalcy in society in public interest.

Highlighting the spate of violence before the first phase polls held on February 8, the memorandum said threats were issued to many candidates mainly CPI nominees and their workers.

Rampant shootings, bomb attacks at residences of the CPI candidates were the methods adopted, said the memorandum.

Armed militants threatened CPI workers by �presenting� them bullets and warning them not to work for their candidates, the memorandum said and added that was done to thwarth the prospects of the CPI candidates.

There was no atmosphere of free and fair pol in the first phase, it said adding that militants and hired gangs of some candidates committed serious crimes during the second phase.

Two CPI candidates who are contesting from the two constituencies of Chandel district for the third phase slated for Friday were forced to withdraw by the militants, it said.

Stating that poll violence which erupted before the first phase of election now engulfed all the Assembly Constituencies, the memorandum asserted that there is serious apprehension of interference from militants in the ensuing third phase election.

� There is also every likelihood of more serious post poll violence after the declaration of the election results when candidates supported by armed militants are defeated,� it said.

CPI leaders at a press conference stated that the chain of violent incidents would defeat the true value of democracy.

� If this ugly trend goes on unabated then democracy cannot exist� said B Sharma.

To a query Sharma said that the party would pocket over ten seats and added �We are ready to join any secular democratic and progressive Government�.