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Manipur polls: After 'intimidation' by militants, NPP seeks security cover for its candidates

Stating that the EC has been apprised of all the incidents, the party said the ongoing situation was an attempt to jeopardise the conduct of free and fair elections

Published: 10th February 2022 02:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th February 2022 02:09 PM   |  A+A-

Election Commission of India (File Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

The party urged the EC to ensure that the polls are held in a free and fair manner (File Photo | Shekhar Yadav, EPS)

By Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The National People’s Party (NPP) has petitioned the Election Commission seeking adequate security cover for its Manipur poll candidates, alleging that they were being intimidated by some militant organisations in peace mode.

The NPP, which was born in Manipur but raised in Meghalaya, said the reports of intimidations were received from constituencies such as Thanlon, Singhat, Tipaimukh, Churachandpur and Tengnoupal.

The party alleged militant outfits such as two factions of Kuki National Front, United Kuki Liberation Front (UKLF), Kuki National Army (KNA) and Hmar People’s Convention-Democracy (HPC-D) had come out openly to support the candidates of ruling BJP and its alliance partner Naga People’s Front.

These outfits signed separate suspension of operation agreements with the government over the past few years.

In the Tipaimukh seat, the NPP alleged, the HPC-D militants were moving around with arms, intimidating the voters and village chiefs to vote for the BJP candidate. The KNA and the UKLF are threatening NPP workers and village chiefs to support the BJP candidate, the party alleged.

“In Tamenglong (district), the outfits are campaigning strongly for the NPF and BJP candidates. They have warned our party workers with dire consequences,” the NPP alleged.

It said one of its candidates had failed to file his nomination after being allegedly threatened by the militants that if he ventured out, he would be shot dead. “Out of fear, he stopped going out and failed to file his nomination,” an NPP leader said.

Stating that the EC has been apprised of all the incidents, the party said the ongoing situation was an attempt to jeopardise the conduct of free and fair elections.

“The NPP would like to urge the Election Commission of India to ensure that the election in Manipur is conducted in a free and fair manner. If the ongoing situation is allowed to prevail, where militant and underground outfits are moving around openly with arms, the electorates will be afraid of coming out to vote,” the NPP said.

The party urged the authorities to send the militants in ceasefire to their designated camps and seize their weapons. Further, it demanded that the constituencies with presence of militants be declared “most sensitive” and provided with additional security.

The NPP is a BJP ally and a constituent of the state’s coalition government but their relationship has been on the rocks following differences over certain issues.

The NPP is contesting in 41 of the state’s 60 seats. It had contested in nine seats in 2017 and won four. All the four MLAs were inducted into the N Biren Singh ministry.



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