Manipur Progressive Secular Alliance (MPSA) staged a “blindfold human-chain protest rally” in Imphal on March 4, calling for an end to the poll-related violence, to save democracy and Manipur.
The protest participated by leaders, workers and supporters of the five political parties – Congress, CPI, CPI-M, RSP, JD-S and Forward Block – also condemned the Election Commission for remaining as a silent spectator.
The protest further demanded the “BJP to stop using armed militants under Suspension of Operation (SoO) to garner votes”.
Initially, a sit-in-protest was staged at Congress Bhavan in Imphal and it was followed by a “blindfold human-chain protest” in front of the Western Gate of Kangla Fort in the heart of the state capital.
“Save democracy save Manipur”, “ECI, please open your eyes” “Stop poll-violence, restore peace,” “Manipur wants free and fair polling,” etc. were placards displayed at the protest sites.
Talking to reporters on the sideline of the protest, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president N Loken Singh alleged that the ruling BJP has violated all democracy norms and indulged in poll-violence.
The ruling party misused the powers in hands and utilized cadres of armed militants under suspension of operation (SoO) and intimidated the voters to cast vote in favour of the BJP by investing a huge amount of money, he alleged.
Regarding the matters, the MPSA lodged complaints after complaints to the ECI. However, no positive action to check the malpractices in the elections taken up, he asserted.
“ECI is the same as blind,” he said, and added the blindfold protest staged today is to show the ECI is blind.
CPI national executive member M Nara Singh criticized the BJP government both at the Centre and state for violating the Constitution of the country and against democracy, secularism and socialism.
The BJP is trying its best to retain power with money and muscle powers. This is a violation of the democracy with an intention of capturing power by hooks and cooks, he said.