STAFF REPORTER IMPHAL, 13th May:
North East India Development Party (NEIDP), a regional political party, has approached the Supreme Court to seek justice in a case related to alleged irregularities in counting of votes with regard to Patsoi assembly constituency during the last state Assembly election.
According to an NEIDP functionary, party leaders while addressing the national media at Press Club of India, New Delhi on Sunday reposed faith upon the apex court to deliver justice in the case and will direct state and election authorities concerned to initiate action against the ‘corrupt’ officials.
Informing that a petition has been filed in the Supreme Court on May 10, the party leaders recounted that on the day of counting for the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly election on March 11, 2017, some postal ballots of Patsoi AC were deliberately included in the ballot box of neighbouring Konthoujam assembly constituency.
They said the petition prayed to the Supreme Court to issue firm directives to all concerned not to compromise constitutional provisions in any manner.
The party leaders were categorical in describing the avoidable human error as a political conspiracy which was carried out in connivance with the Returning Officer concerned.
Expressing resentment that overlooking complaint registered by the NEIDP had led to hasty wrongful declaration of the election result and election of undeserving person, the leaders also pointed out that till date some postal ballot papers of Patsoi AC are being kept uncounted in the ballot box of Konthoujam AC thereby testifying error in the counting process. Further stating that such gross violation of the election rules and procedures amounts to unpardonable offence and outright disrespect to the people’s mandate, they expressed confidence that expeditious disposal of the petition will not only open the proverbial ‘Pandora’s box’ but will also serve as an eye opener to rectify lapses which pose threat to the electoral process. Out of 60 constituencies, Patsoi AC became the victim of protracted corruption as ‘rigging’ of ballot papers diluted sanctity of the democratic system and undermine efforts of the Election Commission of India to cleanse all evils from the electoral system, they maintained. The leaders also lamented that a similar petition filed in a court of law by NEIDP evoked no response for reasons best known to the authority concerned. Regardless of the initial setback, NEIDP was determined to shed light on election-related irregularities and expose those corrupt elements who are scheming to undermine the people’s mandate by favouring certain individuals, they said, adding that NEIDP will never remain as muted spectator when constitutional rights of the citizens are compromised or corruption is not rooted out from the system of electoral politics.