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5 Mar 2017

Manipur records large turnout 84% poll

Khelen Thokchom, TT, Imphal, March 4: When voters queued up at the booths in the first phase of polling today, the issues of territorial integrity of Manipur and vote for change hung heavily on their minds.
Barring an attack on People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance (Irom Sharmila's party) candidate Erendro Leichombam and some stray incidents, polling was peaceful in 38 of the 60 constituencies that went to the polls today.
Heavy security measures were taken in view of the ongoing blockade and stiff competition between the Congress, in power for three consecutive terms, and the BJP.
Chief electoral officer Vivek Kumar Dewangan estimated theHeavy security measures were taken in view of the ongoing blockade and stiff competition between the Congress, in power for three consecutive terms, and the BJP.
Chief electoral officer Vivek Kumar Dewangan estimated the 84 per cent polling. He said it might change as reports of votes polled in some of the interior areas are yet to be received.
The poll percentage in these 38 polling stations in 2012 elections was 77.18.
He said though polling was primarily peaceful, some complaints of intimidation to voters were received and these were under investigation.
A group of residents of Sinam Leikai attacked Leichombam while he was touring his constituency of Thangmeiband. He was charged with violating the code of conduct enforced by the local residents of Sinam Leikai.
Leichombam was treated at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences for pain in the chest and head. He lodged a complaint with the police and the chief electoral officer's office .
Sharmila, who is contesting from Thoubal constituency against chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, cast her vote at Kongpal Kongkham Leikai polling station in Imphal East.
Thoubal will go to the polls on March 8.
Voters turned out early this morning and the queues continued well past the closing time of 3pm. The polling began at 7am.
A tour of Kangpokpi district, created out of Senapati district last year, made it very clear that the Congress stands to gain out of the move.
The demand for creation of Kangpokpi district is decades old and no chief minister dared to take a decision because of strong opposition from the United Naga Council (UNC), apex body of Naga community in Manipur, because it would divide Naga settlements into two districts.
The UNC-imposed blockade along the state's two supply lines crossed four months and is still continuing.
"I thought of the ongoing economic blockade and also the threat to the state's boundary by the framework agreement signed between the NSCN (I-M) and Centre in August 2015 as I stood in the queue," a voter in Sekmai constituency in Imphal West said.
Similarly, for Maibam John, a voter in Heingang constituency, this time the vote is on Manipur's territorial integrity.
Failure to disclose the details of the NSCN (I-M) accord by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his election campaign here is a major concern for Meitei voters.
For first-time voter Rakesh Khadga it is one for change. "I am very happy that I am going to vote for the first time. My vote is for change," Rakesh, who queued up at Kalapahar polling station in Kangpokpi constituency, said.
The candidates in the fray include former director-general of police Yumnam Joykumar Singh (National Peoples Party), Speaker Thokchom Lokeshwar Singh (Congress), works minister Kshetrimayum Biren Singh (Congress), education minister M. Okendro Singh (Congress) and retired IPS officer Thokchom Radheshyam (BJP).
Manipur PCC president T.N. Haokip expressed satisfaction at the party's performance today while former Congress minister turned BJP spokesperson N. Biren Singh said the BJP has nothing to worry about.. He said it might change as reports of votes polled in some of the interior areas are yet to be received.
The poll percentage in these 38 polling stations in 2012 elections was 77.18.
He said though polling was primarily peaceful, some complaints of intimidation to voters were received and these were under investigation.
A group of residents of Sinam Leikai attacked Leichombam while he was touring his constituency of Thangmeiband. He was charged with violating the code of conduct enforced by the local residents of Sinam Leikai.
Leichombam was treated at the Regional Institute of Medical Sciences for pain in the chest and head. He lodged a complaint with the police and the chief electoral officer's office .
Sharmila, who is contesting from Thoubal constituency against chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, cast her vote at Kongpal Kongkham Leikai polling station in Imphal East.
Thoubal will go to the polls on March 8.
Voters turned out early this morning and the queues continued well past the closing time of 3pm. The polling began at 7am.
A tour of Kangpokpi district, created out of Senapati district last year, made it very clear that the Congress stands to gain out of the move.
The demand for creation of Kangpokpi district is decades old and no chief minister dared to take a decision because of strong opposition from the United Naga Council (UNC), apex body of Naga community in Manipur, because it would divide Naga settlements into two districts.
The UNC-imposed blockade along the state's two supply lines crossed four months and is still continuing.
"I thought of the ongoing economic blockade and also the threat to the state's boundary by the framework agreement signed between the NSCN (I-M) and Centre in August 2015 as I stood in the queue," a voter in Sekmai constituency in Imphal West said.
Similarly, for Maibam John, a voter in Heingang constituency, this time the vote is on Manipur's territorial integrity.
Failure to disclose the details of the NSCN (I-M) accord by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his election campaign here is a major concern for Meitei voters.
For first-time voter Rakesh Khadga it is one for change. "I am very happy that I am going to vote for the first time. My vote is for change," Rakesh, who queued up at Kalapahar polling station in Kangpokpi constituency, said.
The candidates in the fray include former director-general of police Yumnam Joykumar Singh (National Peoples Party), Speaker Thokchom Lokeshwar Singh (Congress), works minister Kshetrimayum Biren Singh (Congress), education minister M. Okendro Singh (Congress) and retired IPS officer Thokchom Radheshyam (BJP).
Manipur PCC president T.N. Haokip expressed satisfaction at the party's performance today while former Congress minister turned BJP spokesperson N. Biren Singh said the BJP has nothing to worry about.

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