YCM also stated that the parameters for re-poll in few selected polling stations out of all those that filed complaints is not made public by the ECI.
People’s Election Monitoring team of the Youth Collective Manipur (YCM) on Friday said that the youth forum had documented 78 poll-related-violent-incidents including seven deaths in the Manipur-2022-Election. “So far, there have been no reports of authorities taking up appropriate actions against most of the electoral misconducts including those that occurred at many polling stations on election day, for instance threat and intimidation of party agents, manipulation and destruction of EVMs, proxy voting, booth capture etc.”, said YCM.
In a press release, Thongam Zingo, Coordinator, People’s Election Monitoring team of YCM also stated that the parameters for re-poll in few selected polling stations out of all those that filed complaints is not made public by the ECI.
It may be noted that the 2017-Election, which was much less violent than the 2022-Election, witnessed as much as 62 re-polls whereas only 19 re-polls are ordered this time. More than ever, it is necessary to act upon alleged violations and address the grievances so as not to further erode people’s confidence in the electoral process, said YCM.
“Another worrisome trend is the normalization of “gun-culture”. In the pre-election and election day lethal weapons were widely used to intimidate voters. In the post-election victory celebrations large-scale use of “gun-salutes”. The psychological, physical and political impact on the civilian population, who hold a different political view then the gun trotters, would be simply chilling. The growing gun culture is a direct affront to the free expression of the will of the people”, stated YCM.
Another interesting finding of YCM is that out of 60 winning candidates, 47 of them are documented crorepati (78%); and 14 are those with alleged criminal background (23%).
YCM said that even though the major part of 2022-Election has come to an end, post-election is also a sensitive period. Issuance of threat and intimidation to the people to vote for a particular party or similar incidents in the pre-election should still be a matter of concern in post-election. “The State must fulfill its responsibility to ensure that people are protected to express their will and opinion without any fear of reprisals for doing so”, urged the youth collective.
YCM further stated that “despite all the shortcomings, as we move on to the next electoral cycle, YCM hope for a transparent, corruption-free and pro-people government that translate people’s will and issues in policies formulated and executed in the coming years. YCM stands committed to strive, along with the people of Manipur, to experience a more genuine, free and fair expression of the will of the people in the elections to come”.
YCM also expressed gratitude to all those who participated in the attempt to cultivate a culture of genuine expression of the will of people in the midst of violence and corruption.