Manipur elections: First phase begins, CM Biren Singh among candidates in fray

February 28, 2022 0 Comments

The first phase of the Manipur Assembly election began on Monday at 7 am, and will end at 6 pm. Elections are being held in 38 constituencies.

Till 9 am, a turnout of 9.9% was recorded, NDTV reported. The Kangpokpi district registered the highest turnout, while the Churachandpur district reported the lowest figure.

Of the 38 seats, 29 are in the valley districts of Imphal West, Imphal East, and Bishnupur. The remaining seats are in the hill districts of Kangpokpi, Churachandpur, and Pherzawl.

Key candidates whose fate will be decided on Monday include Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar Singh, state Congress chief N Lokesh Singh, Speaker Y Khemchand Singh and state Minister for Public Works Thongam Biswajit Singh, India Today reported.

A total of 1,900 polling stations have been marked as vulnerable or critical, NDTV quoted state Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Agarwal said. He added that the authorities have made separate arrangements for cadres of rebel groups who want to cast their votes.

Several armed groups in Manipur came overground after a ceasefire was announced in 2008.

An armed underground group, the Kuki National Organisation has “appealed” to people to vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party. The militant group seeks a separate state for the Kuki tribe in Manipur.

Several incidents of violence took place in the state ahead of polling.

On Sunday, two persons, including a minor, were killed and five others suffered serious injuries after a mortar exploded inside a home in Manipur’s Churachandpur district. The two people who died were identified as 6-year-old Mangminlal and 22-year-old Langinsang.

Last week, Y Joykumar Singh had said that poll violence had become a norm in Manipur. He had said that trends this year indicated that the polls would not be free and fair.

Singh had made the remarks after an incident where unidentified assailants had shot at the father of a National People’s Party candidate in Imphal East district.

On February 23, the Assam Rifles seized improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, and explosive materials from the Moreh town, which is located near the Manipur-Myanmar border.

Meanwhile, the Congress on Sunday night expelled its candidate from the Wangoi constituency, Salam Joy Singh, hours before polls began in the seat, according to PTI. The Congress said that it found prima facie evidence that Singh allegedly breached disciplinary rules.

The second phase of the election will be held on March 5. The results will be declared on March 10.


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