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Manipur witnesses record 86 pc polling
Sobhapati Samom

Congress Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh showing his inked finger after casting his vote during the second phase of the 11th Manipur Assembly elections, at a polling station in Thoubal district in Manipur on Wednesday. – UB Photos
 IMPHAL, March 8 - Amid incidents of skirmish between supporters of rival parties, Manipur witnessed over 86 per cent polling in 22 constituencies in the last phase of the two-phase Manipur Assembly elections on Wednesday.

“However, the figure will be revised once figures from about 25 per cent of the polling stations come in”, said State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Vivek Kumar Dewangan. “We will also hold repoll at Aishi polling station under Phungyar constituency on March 10”, he announced.

Like the first phase polls on March 4 which recorded the highest voter turnout of 86 per cent in the last three elections including two Lok Sabha polls, the turnout of voters on Wednesday’s polling at 1,151 polling stations is much higher than the polling percentage of 79.80 in 2012 Assembly polls.

Fate of 98 candidates including Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, Deputy CM Gaikhangam, three Ministers – M Okendro, D Korungthang and Manga Vaiphei and iconic rights activist Irom Sharmila, who is contesting against Ibobi from Thoubal, is now sealed in the EVMs.

Soon after casting his vote at Athokpam Makha Leikai polling station, Ibobi, accompanied by his wife MLA Landhoni, claimed, “We will get a clear mandate.” About Congress performance in the hill constituencies, he said, “We are hoping to get at least 36 to 40 seats including the seats in the hill areas.”

Sharmila said that she got positive responses from the voters in Thoubal. She was seen visiting most of the polling stations during the polling.

The ruling Congress had won 15 of the 22 seats in the last Assembly elections. The BJP, which couldn’t get a single seat in the last polls, has put up candidates in all the 60 constituencies this time.

Naga People’s Front has put up 11, National People’s Party seven, Trinamool Congress (6), Lok Jan Shakti (5), Manipur National Democratic Front (4), Independendents (9), CPI and PRJA (2 each), Manipur People’s Party and People’s Democratic Alliance (one each).

Meanwhile, Election Commission of India has ordered a repoll in 34 polling stations including 12 polling stations in Saikul, six in Thanlon, five each in Andro and Henglep, three in Saitu, one each in Saikot Uripok and Singhat which went to polls on March 4. The repoll will be held on March 9.

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