Sitting MLA and BJP candidate from 50 Longleng assembly constituency S Pangnyu Phom has dismissed as “totally baseless and without any ground evidence” the allegations that he violated model code of conduct (MCC) by trying to allow the voters to cast they vote after 4 p.m. at Yachem village polling station.
In a statement, Pangnyu Phom claimed that as a candidate, he visited the polling station “without any ill intentions”. However, Phom said that soon after reaching, he was informed that the Presiding Officer (PO) was refusing to allow the voters to cast their vote by citing that voting should end at 4pm. Pangnyu Phom said he therefore requested the security personnel and polling personnel to allow all the voters those who were already in queue as per the norms of the Election Commission of India. Hoeever, he said the PO refused and insisted that voting process would be closed at 4pm and asked the voters in queue to disperse. In this regard, the sitting MLA has appealed to the competent authority to initiate necessary action against those who were “trying to tarnish my image by randomly making a video which went viral on social media.”
Pangnyu demanded that investigation by the authority against the polling personnel must made public and take appropriate action, if found guilty. Further, Pangnyu clarified with regard to what he called as “false” reporting by a local new channel over the incident that took place at Polling Station High School Ward, (Part No. 19) Longleng on February 27, 2023 evening.
MLA sough to clarify that supporters of a rival candidate “tried to manipulate the voting process and disturb the peaceful environment.”
He said that in the evening, when the voting process was progressing peacefully, but the supporters of the rial party started to gather in front of the school gate “with the intention to breakdown and enter the school premises to disturb the voting process.”
Pangnyu stated that “without much delay” another group of supporters arrived from one private residence with stones, catapult and firewood “because of which my supporters were compelled to retaliate for personal safety and in self-defence”.
He said that the security personnel present in the scene were witness to tell who started the violence. Pangnyu also clarified that no polling officer was injured in the clash.
He also claimed that another BJP supporter was assaulted on February 28, 2023 while returning from the market at Medical Ward. Pangnyu said after BJP supporter was brutally attacked, another mob tried to attack his private residence by provoking the situation. He also said that another group of supporters of the rival candidate from High School and Medical ward started to attack his political agent’s residence, adding his supporters were only trying to retaliate for safety of lives and property. In the course of clashes, the NCP supporters even opened blank fire.
Pangnyu affirmed that he was committed to maintain peace and tranquillity in Longleng district for a “brighter future of the present generation and generations to come.”