Postal ballot controversy dogs Thanga AC
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 25: With just a day remaining for the counting to start for the election to the 9th Assembly election, the Samajwadi Party candidate in Thanga Assembly Constituency Salam Ibohal and his chief agent, S Lokendra have petitioned the State Chief Electoral Officer and the District Election Officer to cancel the votes cast through the postal ballot on the ground that many irregularities have been committed.

Talking to the media at his Thanga Salam Leikai today, Salam Ibohal said that the DEO in connivance with the RO and employees of Bishnupur post office misplaced a number of postal ballot papers.

Moreover the rules and regulations laid down by the ECI were flagrantly violated, he said and added that it was because of this he has petitioned the CEO to cancel the postal ballots in Thanga AC.

Following the submission of the complaint, the CEO had instructed the DEO to start an inquiry, said Ibohal.

However the DEO has not done anything till date, he alleged and added that the postal ballot should not be counted during the counting.

Chief agent of Ibohal, S Lokendra said that though a timely complaint was submitted to the effect that the rules were violated in the postal ballot, no action has been taken up.

Lokendra said that there are about 187 postal ballots in Thanga AC.

Out of this the MPP candidate and Congress candidate had withdrawn 16 ballot papers by violating all the laid down norms.

This was highlighted to the RO, said Lokendra and added that an order was issued which cancelled all the said 16 ballot papers.

Moreover, Lokendra said that he was informed that 72 ballot papers have been distributed from the head post office of Bishnupur.

However on checking it was found that the actual number of ballot papers fell short by 32. The unaccounted ballot papers were found to have been given away to Congress workers on the sly, he alleged.

To ensure fair play, all the postal ballot papers should be cancelled, demanded Lokendra.

Chipping in Ibohal said that since the number of EVMs used in Thanga AC was kept under wraps, there is every likelihood that some of the EVMs would be tampered with.