By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Apr 13: The Naga People’s Front (NPF) has lodged a complaint to the Election Commission of India (ECI) that three strong rooms of the Churachand-pur DC office were opened and EVMs kept there have been tampered.
Speaking to media persons at their Langol Tarung office today, NPF State unit president Awangbow Newmai said that the 17th Lok Sabha election was held peacefully in Outer Manipur PC on April 11.
Even though it has been just two days since the polling was done, BJP leaders were claiming that their candidate Benjamin Mate would win the Outer Manipur Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 50,000 votes.
As per election processes, results of the election would be known only after completion of counting of votes.
Until and unless the votes are counted, the numbers of votes polled in favour of each candidate remain confidential/secret.
As such, it remains a big question how BJP has been claiming that their candidate would win the election in Outer Manipur PC by a margin of 50,000 votes, Awangbow sad.
The BJP leaders’ prediction that they would win Outer Manipur Lok Sabha seat by a margin of 50,000 votes has been already reported in media
The prediction evokes strong suspicion whether BJP indulged in proxy voting, whether EVMs were captured and votes polled ascertained or whether BJP has a secret plan to manipulate EVMs, Awangbow said.
Amidst this growing suspicion, three strong rooms of Churachandpur DC office where sealed EVMs are kept were opened by a team led by the Churachandpur DC and the strong rooms in-charge today, he asserted.
The three strong rooms opened today were for Saikot AC, Singngat AC and Churachandpur AC and they were opened at 11.03 am, 11.11 am and 11.45 am respectively, said the NPF leader.
The EVM were brought to the strong rooms by concerned Presiding Officers from their respective polling stations and kept in the strong rooms after they were sealed in front of representatives of all candi- dates.
The EVMs thus sealed and kept in strong rooms should be opened only on the day of counting, and no one is authorised to open the strong rooms until the day of counting.
The growing suspicion of manipulating the EVMs has been proved today by the opening of the strong rooms, he said.
A spot enquiry carried out by the NPF chief agent who was present while sealing the EVMs before they were kept in the strong rooms found the same rooms open.
As the chief agent enquired the DC for opening the strong rooms, the DC told the chief agent that the strong rooms were opened at the instruction of the ECI.
However, when the chief agent demanded the ECI’s written instruction, the DC could not produce the instruction, Awangbow conveyed.
He said that the strong rooms were opened to ensure that the BJP leaders’ prediction of election results proves true. Such tampering/manipulation is a direct challenge to the very essence of democracy and the electoral process.
The entire electioneering process of going to each voter by candidates/political parties and explaining their visions and agenda has been rendered meaningless if EVMs are tampered/manipulated in such manner, he decried.
Such malpractices would severely erode people’s faith in the electoral process. There is no point in holding election if a DC can do whatever he/she wishes.
While condemning the opening of the strong rooms, the NPF leader demanded stringent actions against all those officials involved in opening the strong rooms.
EVMs of the three Assembly segments namely Saikot, Singngat and Churachandpur should be excluded from counting of votes, he asserted.
The NPF’s chief agent and some other people are witnesses to the fact that some EVMs have been tampered, he claimed.
Awangbow Newmai said that they have written to the ECI to exclude EVMs of the three Assembly segments from counting of votes and also to take up stringent actions against the Churachandpur DC.
NPF MLA K Leishiyo and Tamenglong ADC Chairman Namsinrei Panmei were also present at the press meet.
By Our Staff Reporter