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Congress urges ECI to stop MNF govt from distributing SEDP funds

Aizawl: Opposition Mizoram Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) leaders urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) for immediate stoppage of distribution of the family-oriented Socio Economic Development Programme (SEDP), the flagship programme of the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) once the election to the state legislature is announced.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, along with two Election Commissioners Anup Chandra Panday and Arun Goel, accompanied by 15 senior officials, arrived in Aizawl to conduct on the spot study on the poll preparedness in the poll-bound Mizoram on Tuesday.

In a meeting of representatives of the national parties and state recognised political parties and law enforcement agencies convened by the full commission of the ECI, the MPCC leaders said that distribution of money to the voters should be stopped when election to the 40-member state legislature is announced.

They also appealed to the ECI to take measures to end distribution of money and other goods to buy votes in the coming polls as well as to make elaborate arrangements to ensure that the aged and physically challenged voters can exercise their franchise.

The MPCC also appealed to the central poll panel not to appoint polling date on Saturday and Sunday as the two days are sacred days for several Christian church denominations.

The ECI team headed by the CEC will meet the state Chief Secretary and the DGP on Wednesday and will also convene meetings with District Election Officers (Deputy Commissioners) of all the 11 districts and the district SPs to look into the poll preparedness and security issues. 

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