Assembly elections: Manipur blockade won’t affect polls; we’re prepared, say EC officials
The three-month long economic blockade in Manipur is unlikely to cast its shadow on the upcoming polls in the state, Election Commission (EC) officials said on Monday.assembly elections Updated: Feb 22, 2017 00:20 IST
The three-month long economic blockade in Manipur is unlikely to cast its shadow on the upcoming polls in the state, Election Commission (EC) officials said on Monday.
The poll panel, headed by chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi, was in the northeastern state on Tuesday to assess the preparations for the polls to elect a new state assembly on March 4 and 8.
Senior officials of the poll panel said that since there has been no call for boycotting the electoral process from any group, they do not anticipate voters being stopped from participating in the democratic exercise.
“We are prepared for the election, from raising more resources to putting additional security forces on the ground. As part of our contingency plan, we have 50% reserve staff and 250 companies of central forces,” Vivek Kumar Dewangan, chief election officer of the state, told HT.
In the state with 60 assembly constituencies, the poll panel has identified 837 critical and 529 vulnerable areas. The commission, however, expects the number of vulnerable areas to go up.
The state has been on the boil after the United Naga Council announced an economic blockade in November 2016, against the bifurcation of districts to create seven new ones. The blockade, which has resulted in prices of essential such as fuel and food to soar, has become a point of contention between the Centre and the state government.
Poll panel officials will also review the security arrangements at all polling centres.