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Manipur poll campaign at a very low ebb

Source: PTI
January 17, 2012 14:17 IST
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Barely eleven days to go, lacklustre campaigning for the coming January 28 Manipur assembly polls is at a very low ebb with candidates confining to hoisting flags at their houses and their supporters.

Reports from all districts said, apart from hoisting flags at their houses, candidates were doing house-to-house campaigns to woo voters in their favours.

The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) which was a major issue in previous election was no longer a major issue this time although the political parties raised this issue during the campaigning, reports said.

Reports said candidates while campaigning were concentrating the erratic power supply, shortage of drinking water, insurgency problem, previous government's failure to make the national highways free from any trouble.

There has not been any major public meeting of any party to woo voters in any part of the state to woo voters, reports said adding that it may be because of restrictions imposed by various insurgent outfits on political parties.

Political observers said no political parties or their supporters have not been campaigning in favour of their candidates by using public loud speaker system or have they put up any posters at any public places in favour of their candidates.

'It is silent all over unlike in the past,' reports said adding that the polls this time was totally different from the past.

Political observers said every voter should have the opportunity to choose the representative of their choice and too many restrictions both by insurgents and authorities was 'not advisable'.

Seven major insurgent organisations have banned the campaigning of congress and its workers saying that they were against the 'revolutionary movement' of Manipur.

The insurgents have exploded and hurled grenades and bombs at several places across the Manipur valley at several places in the past two weeks during which some were injured and houses destroyed.

Press statements issued by them said they would not spare the persons who disobeyed their 'diktat' before and after the elections.

Official sources said some militant had also attacked the candidates of non-congress candidates by lobbing grenades saying that no former militant should fight the elections held under the provisions of Indian Constitution.

Election office sources said candidates had been instructed not to go out in the night to campaign for the elections although whoever has filed nomination papers has been provided adequate security personnel.

Sources said out of 350 companies of forces, including 280 para military forces, more than 218 companies have arrived here adding that the personnel were now engaging in foot patrolling and other activities to acclimatise the situation.

Reports from the districts said no community feast was held to woo voters this time unlike in previous elections because of restrictions from the election commission.

In the previous assembly elections, candidates had organised community feast at every place to woo voters.

Election office said observers including police observers had come and were closely monitoring the activities of the candidates and supporters in regard to their expenditures, and other things.

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