Manipur blockade: Election panel to assess ground situation before assembly polls
Live web streaming of the electoral exercise will be conducted at 1,200 of the total 2,794 polling stations, while video recording will be done at the remaining ones.assembly elections Updated: Feb 21, 2017 13:21 IST
A team of the Election Commission (EC), headed by chief election commissioner Nasim Zaidi, will be in Manipur on Tuesday to assess the preparations for the upcoming assembly elections on March 4 and 8 amid the three-month long economic blockade.
The state has been on the boil after the United Naga Council announced an economic blockade in November last year 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.
The Centre blames the incumbent Congress government led by chief minister Ibobi Singh for failing to end the blockade, despite more men and resources flown to the northeastern state.
However, officials of the poll panel have said the blockade in the northeastern state is unlikely to cast its shadow on the elections.
Senior officials told Hindustan Times 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 for polling duties and 250 companies of central forces,” Vivek Kumar Dewangan, chief election officer of the state, told HT.
Commission officials will also review the security arrangements at all polling centres.
In the state with 60 assembly constituencies, the poll panel has identified 837 critical and 529 vulnerable polling areas. The commission, however, expects the number of the vulnerable areas to go up.
Live web streaming of the electoral exercise will be conducted at 1,200 of the total 2,794 polling stations, while video recording will be done at the remaining ones.
As many as 10 polling stations, managed only by women, have been set up in the capital Imphal and similar arrangements are being made in other parts of the state.
“Security arrangements in the state have been heightened in view of the campaign visits by senior political leaders. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also expected to address a rally in the next few days,” sources said.