Manipur Assembly Polls: Voting for 2nd Phase Begins

Polling for the second and last phase of assembly elections in Manipur began at 7 am on Saturday in 22 constituencies
Manipur Polls

Manipur Polls

Polling for the second and last phase of assembly elections in Manipur began at 7 am on Saturday in 22 constituencies across six districts with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

92 candidates are in fray for the second phase of polls. The areas in focus this time include the Thoubal district and the Naga-dominated hills where the ruling BJP faces a stiff challenge.

The districts, on the outer circuit of the state, have long been strongholds of the Naga People's Front (NPF) and the Congress, and have been hotspots of bandhs and blockades.

The top priority of the Election Commission will be avoiding any violence during the voting hours.

Also Read: Assam: Cong Leader attacked during Poll Campaign

Prominent candidates in the second phase include former three-time chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and former Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam Gangmei, both from the Congress.

The voting will continue till 4 pm under tight security with around 20,000 paramilitary troopers on guard and nearly 5,000 polling personnel.

All arrangements have been made in 1,247 polling stations to follow COVID-19 safety protocols, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Rajesh Agarwal said on Friday.

There are a total of 8.38 lakh voters in this phase in the districts of Thoubal, Chandel, Ukhrul, Senapati, Tamenglong and Jiribam, the officer said.

The BJP has fielded 22 candidates, followed by Congress (18), National People's Party (11), Janata Dal (United) and Naga People's Front (10 each).

According to the CEO, 223 polling stations will be managed exclusively by women personnel.

Arrangements for webcasting or videography have been made in all polling stations while adequate central forces have been deployed.

The first phase of voting held on February 28 in the other 38 constituencies in six districts saw stray incidents of violence and a re-poll was ordered in 12 voting stations in three districts - Churachandpur, Kangpokpi and Imphal East.

Also Read: Paid Holiday declared on March 7 in Majuli

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