Imphal: The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Manipur, Rajesh Agrawal briefed political parties today in connection with the norms for the upcoming assembly election in the state. The meeting was convened with recognized national and state political parties at the conference hall of the Chief Electoral Officer, Manipur, Lamphelpat in Imphal. The CEO informed that meetings with political parties will be held weekly on a regular basis.
The CEO briefed on Model Code of Conduct, COVID norms, criminal antecedents, election expenditure, EVMs & VVPATs, identity proof for voting, among others. With the enforcement of Model Code of Conduct, defacement of government, public properties and unauthorized defacement in private properties should comply within specified timelines. Altogether 53,252 defacements were removed so far, Agrawal added. Photographs of political functionaries were also removed from government websites.
Political parties were also informed that no road show, pad-yatra, cycle/bike/vehicle rally and procession, physical rally of political parties or probable candidates or any other group related to election shall be allowed till January 15, 2022. Rallies and meetings will be allowed only in earmarked places and with prior permissions of respective district administrations. Stating that election agents/ polling agents/ counting agents without double dose vaccination will not be allowed on duty, Rajesh Agrawal appealed to all political parties to check on the vaccination status of their respective polling agents. He also informed that necessary arrangements would be made by the office of the CEO, Manipur for COVID vaccination.
Rajesh Agrawal continued that as per a Supreme Court order, political parties/candidates should publish criminal antecedents in newspapers/TV on three occasions. A booklet on criminal antecedents was also provided to the representatives of political parties. For publishing criminal antecedents, a list of newspapers and TV channels will be notified soon, he added.
The CEO then urged candidates to appoint election expenditure agents to ensure timely filing of expenditure statements/accounts. Regarding P-2 & P-3 polling stations, he also informed that intermediate strong rooms had been identified and would be notified to all candidates and political parties by DEOs.
Representatives of political parties also expressed their views, suggestions and grievances during the meeting.