- Election was peaceful, free and fair: NDPP
- Massive proxy voting, alleges Cong
Dimapur, April 12: The NDPP and the Congress have thanked the people of Nagaland for exercising their franchise in the April 11 Lon Sabha poll and by-election to the Aonglenden assembly constituency.
But the two opposing parties had different take on the way the election was conducted. While the NDPP claimed that the election was peaceful, free and fair, the Congress alleged that election was not free and fair with proxy voting being rampant.
In a communiqué, the NDPP thanked and congratulated all citizens of the State including various church organizations, civil society organizations and tribal hohos for coming out and exercising their adult franchise and upholding the sanctity of democracy.
“The maturity of the people displayed during the polls has led to the peaceful, free and fair conduct of the elections,” it said.
The party also appreciated its opponents for coming forward with their manifestos and candidates to contest the Lok Sabah election and the by-elections “thus keeping the spirit of democracy alive and burning, in the state.”
Stating that the party had tried its best throughout the campaign period to maintain dignity and integrity in all campaigning through the length and breadth of Nagaland, the NDPP hoped that even in future the citizens along with all political parties will participate in the electioneering process as witnessed in the just concluded elections in the state.
It thanked alliance partners BJP, JD(U) and Independent parties for having stood steadfast and committed in supporting the NDPP-PDA consensus candidates Tokheho Yepthomi and Sharingain Longkumer, and assured that with the electioneering process complete with only the counting of votes on May 23, the PDA government is geared up to continue all works that were put on hold owing to the elections with a fresh mind and renewed spirit.
The NDPP further congratulated the Election Commission of India, the State election department, and all those involved in peaceful and successful conduct of the elections.
In a separate release, the Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) also thanked all the voters of Nagaland who voted on their conscience. “Many have taken a courageous decision to defend faith, identity, culture, language, history and way of life. Your vote will go a long way to correct the wrong doings in the nation and state and to provide future needs,” said NPCC president K Therie, while stating that the April 11 LS poll and by-election was a battle between vs gratification vote & system failures.
Stating that genuine voter turnout was low but polling percentage was as high as 78.67% by the end of polling, Therie said this showed that proxy voting was rampant. “In violation of election ‘Model Code of Conduct’, ‘One Person One Vote’ and the appeal of Churches forum for clean election, many Village Councils and Chieftains have captured proxy votes and voted in favour of NDPP+BJP candidate in the name of development obliging to gratification and promises offered by the ruling government,” he alleged, and condemned the “selfish and self-centred voters” who voted for bribes and other gratifications.
Therie went on to alleged that the greatest failure was on the part of the presiding officers and polling officers, most of who, he alleged, did not upheld the Model Code of Conduct. “They were dictated by Village Councils and Chieftains and have allowed family head voting in many polling stations. In the name of family, proxy votes were also allowed. Voter slip + one identity card was required as per ECI’s notice. Most presiding officers or polling officers have not enforced.
“There are reports that even after clearly seeing ink mark on the finger indicating that the person has voted, the finger was inked again and proxy voting allowed. Proxy voters were also allowed to sign or affix thumb impression for other voters. Even different fingers were allowed to be used for ‘thumb impression’,” he alleged, while stating that such officers on election duty are unfit to enforce election law.
“They are unlike officers in other states who strictly enforce the election laws and are accountable and responsible for these system failures,” he added.
(Page News Service)