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Manipur polls: Jairam to move SC over payments by govt to banned militant groups

New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): Senior Congress leader and party’s Manipur observer Jairam Ramesh on Saturday said that he would move to Supreme Court after the “Election Commission maintained that the payments made to banned militant groups in the state didn’t constitute the violation of the model code of conduct (MCC)”.

Alleging that the release of the payments to the banned militant groups after a long hiatus “murdered” elections in 11 Assembly seats in Manipur, Ramesh in a tweet said that the move amounted to the violation of the MCC. He had on Friday alleged that the incumbent BJP government in Manipur had released funds to militant groups even while the MCC was in force in the state and ahead of the second phase of Assembly polls.

“Shockingly ECI (Election Commission of India) held large payments to banned militant groups made on 1.1.22 & 1.3.22 by Manipur Govt do not violate Model Code of Conduct. They do & I’m petitioning Supreme Court. Payments were suddenly released during poll period after long gap. It murdered elections in 11 seats!,” Ramesh tweeted.

The senior Congress leader claimed that the Election Commission of India (ECI) has maintained that “large payments to banned militant groups by the Manipur government does not violate the MCC”.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, Ramesh had alleged that the objective of the payment of Rs 15 crore given on February 1 was to “influence voting” in Churachandpur and Kangpokpi while the release of payment of Rs 95 lakhs on March 1 was to “influence voting” in Tengnoupal and Chandel districts.

“This is bribery, corruption, and violation of MCC,” he had said.

The Congress MP further alleged that on the other hand, 1 lakh state government employees have not been paid their salaries for two months.

“The 6,000 mid-day meal cooks have not been paid for 18 months. Pensioners have not received their retirement benefits,” Ramesh alleged.

Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the “poll body’s compliant attitude to murder democracy is even more shocking”.

“Fake Nationalists exposed! Are we living in a banana republic? How can the money be released to banned militant groups by Govt in elections? ECI’s compliant attitude to murder of democracy is even more shocking. The Supreme Court should take suo-moto cognizance,” Surjewala tweeted.

Polling for the second and final phase of state elections is underway in 22 Assembly constituencies spread across six districts and will decide the electoral fate of 92 candidates, including two women, who are in the fray.

Manipur has a total of 60 Assembly constituencies. Polling for 38 Assembly constituencies was held on February 28, which recorded a voter turnout of 78.30 per cent.

The term of the incumbent Manipur government began on March 20, 2017, and is slated to end on March 19, 2022. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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