NEIDP demands foolproof SOP

By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Sep 14: The North East India Development Party (NEIDP) has urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) to formulate a foolproof SOP which would guarantee 100 per cent protection of the people of Manipur from COVID-19 in case the by-election to 13 Assembly segments of the State must be held amidst the pandemic.
Speaking to media persons at their Tera Bazar office today, NEIDP president Dr Ng Bijoy said that lives of around 30 lakh people would be exposed to the threat of COVID-19 if the by-election is held amidst the pandemic.
The ECI should consult the State Government while formulating a foolproof SOP  and the same should be deliberated at a meeting of all political parties before holding the by-election, Dr Bijoy said.
Candidates should be invited to debate on different issues at DDK and local cable networks so that voters can make the best choice as per their conscience. If the candidates adopt this electioneering method, the risks of COVID-19 can be mitigated to a great extent, he said.
Talking about the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Bijoy said that extensive transmission of the virus without knowing the origin or the transmitter is called community transmission and there are four stages of community transmission.
Expressing keen desire for experts to determine which transmission stage the State is passing through currently, Dr Bijoy said that the Government should take up appropriate measures after experts determine the community transmission stage.
Noting that sodium hydrochloride solution is being sprayed at different localities as a disinfectant in the wake of the COVID-19, Dr Bijoy warned that sodium hydrochloride solution forms a compound on being exposed to the atmosphere and the compound is very harmful to health. It may even cause cancer.
He then urged the Government to look into the matter.
NEIDP spokesman Dr I Ibohalbi said he has learnt that only five Assembly segments would go to by-polls while the remaining eight segments would be left out as cases involving their former representatives are pending at Court.
Observing that campaign for the by-election has already started, Dr Ibohalbi asked whether the by-election is more important than human lives.
He also expressed keen desire for the ECI to formulate an SOP which can guarantee safety of voters.
Urging the Government to clarify whether the report that by-election would be held in only five Assembly segments out of 13 segments which are currently lying vacant, he asserted that it would be akin to human rights violation if the report is true and people of the eight Assembly segments are deprived of their representatives for a long time.
NEIDP condemned the act of destroying a few acres of paddy plantation by the airport authority recently  which were on the verge of flowering.
The paddy cultivation was not done in a single day. It took several months to bring the paddy plants to the stage of flowering, he pointed out before questioning the airport authority as to why they did not raise any objection at the initial stage of cultivation.
The destruction of paddy plantation could have been prevented had there been an MLA of Naoriya Pakhanglakpa AC, he rued.