Senior Citizens Issue Clarion Calls To Voters

IMPHAL, Feb 5: Ahead of the by-election for the Konthoujam Assembly Constituency, senior Citizens for Society, Manipur has given a clarion call to the electorates to defeat the evils of money and muscle power during election times.

Speaking to reporters at the Nagamapal RIMS Road Corner office of the Society today, general secretary L Sadananda cautioned that allowing the trend of money and muscle power to continue in elections would be disastrous for the future of Manipur.

Expressing concern that elections conducted in Manipur have been transformed to ‘battle of money’ rather than a democratic exercise where the people chose their representatives, Sadananda said time has come for the Konthoujam electors to prove that their democratic right cannot be compromised with money.

Claiming that information has been received about an individual candidate having spent about Rs 20 lakhs when the Nagar Panchayat elections were held recently, he also stated that there had been instances of buying franchise right of a voter at Rs 2000 while an entire family received Rs 6000 in exchange of their priceless votes.

The senior citizen also suggested that voters of Konthoujam oppose exchange of votes for money not only to eradicate election-related malpractices but also taking into account that the next general election is only a few months away.

While informing that Senior Citizens for Society Manipur had already hosted a convention for public deliberation and resolution to stop the menace of corruption and money power in elections, he also desired that Election Commission of India initiate more stringent action against election contestants or their agents/supporters found indulging in corrupt practices or violating prescribed norms.

Observing that trading off votes for money is akin to mortgaging one’s dignity without which an individual is considered to be an immoral person, he also suggested that character and vision of the candidate concerned be evaluated before casting the vote.

Speaking at the occasion, another senior citizen N Binoy stressed that pro-active role by the women folk has become a necessity to weed out election-related malpractices and urged them to outrightly reject incase money is offered to join flag-hoisting or ceremonial events.

He also suggested that volunteers of local clubs and women activists clamp down on corrupt practices to clean-up the election process.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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