The Congress on Saturday appealed to the Election Commission to immediately intervene and take urgent action after the banned Kuki National Organisation issued a statement supporting the BJP and for threatening voters.
In a letter to the EC, the Congress said this "diabolic" statement is a clear violation of the model code and strict action must be taken to ensure free and fair elections.
The statement issued by the president of the banned Kuki National Organisation on February 25, 2022, is a direct and clear threat to the conduct of free and fair elections in the state of Manipur, the Congress memorandum to EC said.
“It blatantly intimidates people to vote for the BJP holding out dire consequences to those who will not follow its instructions. This statement has been issued with the full knowledge and connivance of the Union home minister and the chief minister of Manipur,” the Congress alleged in its memorandum.
“The Indian National Congress calls upon the Chief Election Commissioner and the chief electoral officer to take the most serious and urgent note of this deliberate, dangerous and diabolic statement that violates in unmistakable language the Election Commission's Model Code of Conduct and take urgent action to ensure that fear spread by the statement of the President of the KNO is completely removed,” former chief minister of Manipur Okram Ibobi Singh and two other senior congress leaders Jairam Ramesh and Salman Khurshid said in the memorandum.
Ramesh, who is also the party's senior observer for the Manipur Assembly polls, demanded urgent EC action as he held the banned outfit's move to be a clear violation of the model code. “Aap Chronology Samjihye. 22.02.22: PM comes to Manipur. 23.02.22: Union Home Minister comes to Manipur. 25.02.22: Banned outfit Kuki National Organisation issues a statement supporting BJP and threatening voters. It's a blatant violation of Model Code of Conduct. ECI must intervene!,” Ramesh said on Twitter.
Assembly elections in Manipur are slated to be held in two phases on February 28 and March 5. The Kuki National Organisation in its letter had stated that in line with its ongoing political dialogue with the Government of India, the central government and ruling BJP leadership have promised swift settlement of its political aspirations.
Home Minister Amit Shah had announced the same in his public address on February 23 at Churachandpur public Ground, it said. “Therefore, KNO has resolved to extend support to all BJP candidates for the 12th Manipur Assembly elections. Accordingly, KNO appeals to all chiefs, CSO leaders and all voters to support BJP candidates in all KNO operational areas. Any person or organization acting contrary to this appeal will be deemed acting against Kuki interest,” the letter by PS Haokip, president of the Kuki National Organisation said.