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Rival parties buying off voters’ slip in Dimapur, Congress alleges

Nagaland News

DIMAPUR, JUNE 22: The Dimapur District Congress Committee (DDCC) has alleged that other political parties, especially Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), were purchasing voters’ slips in Dimapur ~ in some cases, by threatening non-Naga voters.
Kutuho Chishi, the President of DDCC, fired this allegation during a press meet convened on Saturday evening where the party also paraded 12 of its 14 candidates for 4 urban local bodies: Dimapur Municipal Council, East Dimapur Town Council, Niuland Town Council, and Chümoukedima Town Council.
According to Kutuho, the rival parties were making the alleged purchase as soon as the voters received their respective slips from the distribution centres. He alleged that the rivals tow away their targets to a corner outside the distribution centres and complete their alleged purchases.
He also alleged that some Gaonburas and colony councils were hoarding the voters’ slips. By not distributing it among the eligible voters in the locality, he alleged, the GBs and the councils were scheming to sell off said voters’ slips to rival political parties.
The DDCC President asserted that the district administration, especially the Circle Officers, should “strictly check” this alleged activity and ensure an end to it.
He also appealed to the law enforcement authorities to restrict the entry of MLAs, Advisors and Ministers with their bodyguards and youth volunteers to polling booths on the day of polling.
Kutuho alleged that the elected Legislators have adopted a modus operandi of arriving with 4-5 vehicles filled with youth on the pretext of visiting the polling stations and then letting the youth volunteers cast multiple votes.
He said that the Deputy Commissioner, the Commissioner of Police, and the Circle Officers should “strictly check” this too. “This should not happen on the 26th (of June)”, he maintained.
Reminding the Legislators that the election model code of conduct was in operation, he advised them to follow it to the letter ~ including the various restrictions.
The Congress leader also appealed to the district administration as well locality leaders to enforce the June 18 decision to restrict and prohibit movement of convoys bearing political parties’ flags and prevent violence/confrontations among supporters.
He asserted that the colony councils should ensure free and fair polling in their respective localities and restrict the incursion of non-resident persons.
During an open interaction with the media, the Congress candidates insisted that they won’t be jumping ship in the aftermath of the results.
As one of the candidates from Chümoukedima put, they were comfortable in the knowledge that they’d end up in the opposition. “But that doesn’t mean that we are going to simply sit back and give the ruling party a free pass. We will be shooting from the backseat”, he said.
The Congress also dismissed ~ as suggested by one of the journalists ~ assumptions “among the voters” that their successful candidates could find it difficult to procure funds as BJP is at the helm in Delhi as well as, along with NDPP, in Nagaland.
The DDCC President insisted that having a Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from the party negates that possibility. He asserted that the MP stands above the 60 ruling MLAs and that the former is a “ULB member” by default.
On top of that, he insisted, having a “strong opposition” at the Centre would thwart any attempts to limit funding to localities where the representatives hail from parties outside the ruling alliance.
Aside from the common refrain of better drainage, roads and street lights, the Congress candidates promised to deliver model wards, more dispensaries, easy access to loans, assistance to PwDs, Old Age Pension Scheme benefits, etc.
(Page News Service)

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