A total of 87 percent voter turnout was recorded till 5 p.m. today in Imphal East of the two-phased Manipur Assembly elections.
The voting percentage might go higher as the current statistics was released at 3 pm, the last hour for exercising voting.
The polling will start at 0700 hrs and end at 1700 hrs. Of the total 1,643 polling stations, where polling was being held on Saturday, 837 polling stations have been identified as hyper sensitive and 529 as sensitive by the Election Commission (EC).
A section of people hope that the newly-launched political party People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRAJA) under the leadership of Irom Sharmila, who vowed to fight corruption as well as non-performance in governance and also repeal of Armed Forces (Special Power) Act (AFPSA), would be an alternative to the Congress. Even in the hilly areas of Churachandpur and the newly-created Kangpokpi districts, the youth voted without any fear.
- 69 per cent voter turnout was recorded till 1 pm. The Congress counterposed, saying the government during its 15-year rule implemented several development projects and improved the power supply.
The fate of 168 candidates will be decided in the first phase across 38 of the 60 constituencies spread over the hills and valleys of Manipur. Sharmila said she is confident of her party's victory in the elections, according to the ANI report.
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Votes for Manipur's two-phase elections will be counted on March 11 along with that of Goa, Punjab, Uttarkhand and Uttar Pradesh.
For the first time, there were no police or State paramilitary personnel in the polling stations. On the other hand BJP lost a number of it's leaders to Congress including one of it's two MLAs Khumukcham Joykishan. Another BJP partner Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party is contesting 3 seats.
Manipur elects at least three Muslim candidates to its Assembly every year, but the BJP has fielded only one candidate from the party, whereas the Congress has fielded three of them.
Azamgarh, Ballia, Deoria, Gorakhpur, Kushi Nagar and Mau, which is the largest constituency with an electorate of over 4.4 lakhs, were among the districts which went to the polls on Saturday. Earlier on Thursady, before the polling date, Eastern Army Commander Lt. Gen. Praveen Bakshi completed reviewed the security situation ahead of the assembly polls slated to be held on March 4 and March 8. Besides the ruling Congress, which is fielding 59 candidates (37 in the first phase), the other political entities in the fray are the National People's Party, Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, Lokjana Sakhti and Left parties.
Gorakhpur has a maximum of 127 candidates for nine seats while the minimum seven are contesting Mohammadabad Gohna seat in Mau.