North East

Manipur urges poll panel to hold simultaneous bypolls on all 13 vacant seats

Imphal, October 3: Manipur chief minister Nongthombam Biren Singh on Friday said that the state government will approach the Election Commission of India (ECI) to conduct bye-elections on all 13 vacant assembly seats instead of just two in the state.
“We are urging the ECI to conduct bye-elections in the left out vacant assembly constituencies too,” Biren said, while responding to a question after flagging off a cycle rally in the capital held on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti and National Cleanliness Day 2020.
On September 24, Biren had dropped six of his cabinet ministers and inducted five new faces in a major reshuffle. Three days after their induction, ministers were assigned portfolios.
On the day of oath-taking by the new ministers, the BJP national vice president Baijayant Panda had even hinted about inducting another minister after the bye-elections.
On September 29, the ECI announced that bye-elections for Lilong and Wangjing-Tentha assembly constituencies will be held on November 7. Sitting MLAs on these two seats had quit, necessitating the bypolls.
At present, altogether 13 assembly constituencies are lying vacant in the 60 member Manipur legislative assembly after nine MLAs resigned and four were disqualified.
The pending court cases could be the reason behind ECI not announcing bye-elections to the remaining assembly constituencies, according to the joint chief electoral officer of the state.
The last date for making nominations is October 20 and the last date of withdrawal of candidature is October 23. The dates set aside for counting and completion of the election process, are November 10 and 12 respectively.
Meanwhile Congress MLA Khumukcham Joykishan has demanded a separate standard operating procedure (SoP) for holding bye-elections for the two assembly constituencies to prevent further spread of Covid 19 pandemic in the border state. (Agencies)