A voter turnout of 76.62% was recorded till 5 pm in the second phase of the Manipur Assembly elections on Saturday.
The voting for the second phase began at 7 am in 22 constituencies across six districts, reported NDTV. There are 92 candidates in the fray.
Till 11 am, a 28.24% voter turnout was recorded in Chandel district, 32.68% in Jiribam, 27.86% in Senapati, 20.41% in Tamenglong, 29.55% in Thoubal and 30.66% in Ukhrul.
Prominent candidates in the fray include former Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and former Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam Gangmei. Both of them belong to the Congress.
Voting will take places across 11 seats in Imphal and Jiribam Valleys, reported The Hindu. The hills, mostly dominated by the Nagas, account for the remaining 11 constituencies.
The Congress has fielded 18 candidates for the second phase, the Bharatiya Janata Party 22, the National People’s Party 11 and the Janata Dal (United) and the Naga People’s Front 10 each.
Singh has cast his vote but was delayed by a technical error at the polling booth. He claimed that the Congress’ performance will be better than that in the 2017 polls, reported News18. The former chief minister also claimed that Congress will get single party majority in this election.
Voting will take place in 1,247 polling stations. Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Agarwal said of these, 223 voting stations will be handled exclusively by women. As many as 8.38 lakh voters people will vote in this phase.
Security has been tightened for the second phase with around 20,000 paramilitary troopers and nearly 5,000 polling personnel on duty.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the voters to to vote in large numbers and “mark the festival of democracy”.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh also urged the voters to cast their franchise and “vote to secure a peaceful and developed Manipur”.
Besides the 22 seats, repolling is also being held in 12 booths in five seats spread across three districts, reported the Hindustan Times.
The Election Commission said that Electronic Voting Machines, or EVMs, were damaged in attacks during the first phase in these five seats – Khundrakpam in Imphal East district, Saitu in Kangpokpi district and Thanlon, Henglep and Singhat in Churachandpur district.
The results will be declared on March 10.
Violence during first phase
The first phase of the election was held on February 28 and was marked with sporadic incidents of violence. A voter turnout of 78.30% was recorded in first phase.
In Churachandpur district, one person was injured in clashes between supporters of the BJP and Kuki People’s Alliance. An electronic voting machine was also damaged and later replaced, according to the State Election Commission.
In Langthabal constituency, alleged Congress workers vandalised a booth set up by members of the BJP. A vehicle of a National People’s Party candidate was damaged by supporters of a rival group in the Keirao seat.
A security official belonging to the 8th Manipur Rifles was found dead in Pherzawl district. The circumstances of his death remain unclear.