Despite stray incidents of violence, Manipur elections record 48.88% voter turnouttext_fields
According to officials, several incidents of violence were reported despite a 48.88 percent turnout in Manipur's first phase of assembly elections.
One person was injured after two rival political parties clashed in Churachandpur district. Some people damaged an EVM at Singhat, which was then replaced.
Congress workers reportedly damaged a BJP booth in Kakwa area of Langthabal constituency of Imphal West district, while members of a rival party damaged a NPP vehicle in Keirao. Fortunately, nobody was injured.
The Phunal Maring polling station reported a shooting incident, but details of the incident are pending. Both men and women queued up in front of the polling stations before 7 a.m.
The polls will run until 4 pm without any breaks.
1,721 polling stations are located across five districts in Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishnupur, Churachandpur and Kangpokpi, with 12,09,439 voters eligible to vote, including 6,28,657 females and 175 transgenders.
There are numerous candidates vying for the post, including Chief Minister N Biren Singh and his cabinet colleague Thongam Biswajit Singh, the NPP's Yumnam Joykumar Singh, a senior BJP official named Thokchom Satyabrata Singh, and the Congress' Ratankumar Singh, Lokeshwar Singh, and Saratch Dev.
Firebrand women's leader Thounaojam Brinda, who was the Additional Superintendent of Police (Headquarters), is also running from the Yaiskul constituency in the first phase of the election.
The COVID-19 protocol for polling personnel and voters, including wearing masks, sanitizer, social separating and thermal screening is being followed.
The official of the Election Commission reported that these 38 Assembly constituencies have 10,041 people with disabilities (PWDs) and 251 centenarians.
According to officials, Saikot Assembly constituency is also home to 173 candidates, 39 of whom have criminal records. One polling station is entirely staffed by persons with disabilities.
The most important issues raised by political parties during the over two-month campaign were development issues, militancy, illegal drug trade, repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, women empowerment, rising unemployment, and corruption.
This time, however, the BJP, NPP and NPF are standing against each other separately.
The second phase of voting, which will involve 22 seats, will take place on March 5. The votes will be counted on March 10.