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10 tribal MLAs urge EC to arrange voting for 50,000 displaced tribals outside Manipur

Ten tribal Manipur MLAs belonging to the Kuki-Zomi-Hmar community have urged the Election Commission to make special arrangements for voting for displaced tribals after ethnic violence broke out on May 3 last year. They want eligible voters among 50,000 displaced people to be allowed to cast their votes using Aadhaar cards as many lost voter IDs.

After communal conflict in Manipur led to people fleeing the Imphal Valley, the MLAs highlighted the death of over 160 civilians, destruction of 360 churches, 205 villages, and 7,000 houses. Displaced people are now scattered in different parts of the country, unable to return home due to the volatile situation.

The MLAs emphasized the importance of preserving the universal adult franchise guaranteed under the Indian constitution and called on the Election Commission to ensure that suitable arrangements are made for displaced voters. They warned that without these arrangements, many genuine voters could be deprived of their constitutional rights.

Manipur Chief Electoral Officer Pradeep Kumar Jha stated that special polling stations will be set up in relief camps in Manipur to facilitate voting for residents. However, this plan is limited to the state’s territorial jurisdiction. Currently, Manipur operates around 320 relief camps with over 59,000 people.

Of Manipur’s two Lok Sabha seats, polling for the Inner Manipur parliamentary constituency will take place on April 19, while the Outer Manipur seat reserved for tribals will have voting in two phases on April 19 and April 26. The Election Commission aims to ensure that all eligible voters, including the displaced tribals, can exercise their right to vote in the upcoming elections.


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