Repolling scheduled for Inner Manipur Lok Sabha constituency amid allegations of electoral malpractice

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The Election Commission of India has mandated a repoll at 11 polling stations within the Inner Manipur Lok Sabha constituency set for April 22, following serious allegations of electoral malpractice during the initial polls held on April 19. This decision was made to ensure the integrity of the electoral process after the initial voting was declared null and void due to reported irregularities.

The repolling will affect stations across multiple districts, including Moirangkampu Sajeb and Thongam Leikai in the Khurai constituency, four stations in Kshetrigao, one in Thongju in Imphal East district, three in Uripok, and one in Konthoujam in Imphal West district. This announcement was made by the Chief Electoral Officer of Manipur, aiming to address concerns raised by voters and political parties regarding the fairness of the elections.

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The initial polling phase in these areas was marred by incidents of firing, intimidation, and destruction of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), along with allegations of booth capturing. These disruptions have cast a shadow over the electoral process in the region, which saw a turnout of 72% across the two Lok Sabha constituencies of Inner and Outer Manipur.

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The Congress party, through Manipur Congress president K Meghachandra, has been vocal about the irregularities, demanding a repoll in a total of 47 stations across both constituencies. They have lodged formal complaints, citing specific incidents and evidence of what they claim are efforts to rig the election in favor of certain candidates.

The necessity for repolling in the Inner Manipur Lok Sabha constituency highlights significant challenges in maintaining electoral integrity in conflict-affected regions. Such interventions by the Election Commission are crucial for upholding democratic processes, especially in areas vulnerable to violence and political pressures. The outcomes of these repolls could significantly influence the overall results and public trust in the electoral system.

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