The economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council will not have any impact on Manipur’s election process, Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi said on Wednesday. “We request everyone in the state to cooperate with the people involved in the poll process for a free and fair election,” Zaidi was quoted as saying by The New Indian Express.
The UNC had imposed an indefinite economic blockade in Manipur from November 2016 to protest against the government’s decision to upgrade Sadar Hills and Jiribam areas to create seven full-fledged districts. The blockade on National Highways 2 and 37 has hit the supply of important items in Manipur, reported PTI.
However, Zaidi said the availability of petrol and diesel for the polls will be ensured. “There would be no problem regarding it and all poll personnel will assist us,” he said.
The CEC said adequate security forces will be deployed during polling. The Commission had reviewed the law and order situation in the state and preventive measures have been taken, he added. “We are reasonably satisfied that action is underway and all other action will be underway in the days to come,” Zaidi said.
On December 12, the Home Ministry had said in a statement that no one would be allowed to take the law in to their own hands. On January 31, it had sought the Election Commission’s intervention to resolve the crisis. About a month later, Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh had dismissed a ministry report that had said that the law-and-order situation in his state was “not conducive” to conduct Assembly elections.
Polls in 69 seats of the state will be held in two phases on March 4 and 8. The results will be declared on March 11.