manipur outer assembly election

Manipur News | IMPHAL | Apr 11

The first phase of Lok Sabha election for the Outer Manipur parliamentary constituency seat concluded peacefully with a voter turnout of 80 percent. Most of the polling reportedly went peacefully without any untoward incidents.

Although there was no report of any major poll-related violence, two EVMs were destroyed by unidentified miscreants at Poi A and B polling stations in the interior part of Ukhrul district, bordering Myanmar. Re-polling is likely to be held in the polling stations which is situated under 45-Chingai about 80 km away from the district headquarter.

Joint Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Ramananda Nongmeikapam, said the detail report of the incident would only be available after the presiding officer of the Poll returns. He said the final voting percentage will be known only after all the polling parties returned to their respective headquarters, and the voter turnout is likely to be increased.

Regarding booth capturing at 45/17 and 45/18 polling stations at Poi Government Junior High School under Chingai assembly segment, Ramananda asserted that the matter will be forwarded to the election commission once the report from DEO is received and the commission will take a decision in that aspect whether there will be re-poll or not.

The Joint CEO has observed that by large, the election went peaceful except for some minor incidents and reports of booth capturing at few polling stations. He appreciated the voters for coming out to exercise their franchise and also appealed to the electors of Inner Manipur parliamentary constituency to come out and cast their vote as well.

Further he continued that voting process initially was slow during to some technical glitch. Although polling period officially ended at 4 pm, voting continued till late in the evening in some polling stations due to error in EVM machines and long queues at the close of the poll hours.

It is learnt that polling was in full swing at 7:30 pm in two polling stations (47/6 and 47/7 polling stations) at Maiba village in Senapati district due to EVM error. Voting was completely halted around 3.30 pm in the two polling stations as one of the EVM stopped working after casting 140 votes and the other EVM did not function at all.

The joint CEO further informed that seven ballots, seven control units and 59 VVPATs were replaced due to technical glitch, he said adding that a report on today’s poll would be sent to the ECI of India.

As per district wise poll percentage, Thoubal recorded 76.16 percent, Chandel 87.85, Ukhrul 87.31, Senapati 87.99, Tamenglong 77.87, Churachandpur and Pherzawl 64.94, Jiribam 68.20, Kangpokpi 81.99 and Tengnoupal 86.24.

There are altogether 28 Assembly segments in the outer Manipur parliamentary constituency with a total of 1010618 voters, including 495583 male and 515022 female voters. Eight candidates are in the fray for the outer seat.

Of the total 1562 polling stations in the outer parliamentary constituency 227 is classified as critical and 171 vulnerable.

Altogether 90 companies of security personnel including state forces from Mizoram, Tripura and central forces were deployed.

Our Kangpokpi correspondent adds:

In Kangpokpi district, three polling stations are manned by women personnel only. It has been a very good experience as this is the first time for Kangpokpi, where women personnel manned the entire polling station, said presiding officer Neichonghoi Gangte of 50/35 Tumnoupokpi polling station.

Other polling stations in Kangpokpi, managed by women personnel only are 50/6 Salem and 50/34 Yaikongpao.

Voters under 50/32 Kalapahar (C) faced huge inconveniences as there was malfunctioning of EVM even before mock vote process begun. Although the poll time began at 7 in the morning, they were not able to cast their vote until about an hour and a half later.

Zilkhoson Touthang, presiding officer, said that another machine was called for and replaced the earlier defunct one. However, it was also not working. The sector officer of sector 15 Kangpokpi, Haopu Lhouvum, clarified that most of the machines in the nine polling stations under the sector are not working and has faced difficulties in repairing them as there are various defects in the machines.

The machine was fixed around 8:43 am and the voters got to cast their vote. There was a delay in more than one and a half hour in the polling station.

Our Churachandpur Correspondent adds:

Meanwhile, in Churachandpur district, DC Churachandpur Shyamlal Poonia has informed that there are 201237 voters in entire Churachandpur district including Pherzawl.

There are 333 polling stations under the six assembly segments of Churachandpur. Out of the total voters in the district, 613 are PWDs and the DC office has targeted to ensure 100 percent votes from them, he noted and pointed out that one polling station 59/43 B. Vengnuom is manned by PWDs only.

Similarly, there are six model polling stations one each in the six assembly segments. There are 12 critical polling stations mostly in Thanlon. There are 11 vulnerable polling stations two in each assembly segment except for Saikot. There are 100 all women polling stations, 74 polling stations in 58 Churachandpur assembly segment and 24 in 59 Saikot assembly segment in the Churachandpur district.

It is for the first time in the country that a large number of polling stations is manned by women personnel only. Machines were replaced in three-four locations. There was 14 percent turnout by 9 am and 28-30 percent by 11 am, Poonia stated.

The DC further conveyed that postal ballots have been sent to nine designated camps of proscribed outfit KNO/KNA under Suspension of Operation (SoO) with the government of India.

Altogether 194 cadres were provided postal ballots for them to exercise their voting right, he said while informing that the designated camps and cadres are being jointly monitored by police and Assam Rifles so that there is no intimidation to people from their side.

Our Chandel Correspondent adds:

Voting in Chandel district was conducted without any unwanted activities with voters’ turnout of 87.85 percent at the time of filing this report.

When media persons interacted with some voters present in the polling station, former MLA of Chandel district, Victor Nunglhung who was also present at Maha Union school polling station 41/16 said, “I am told that there is an instruction to the presiding officers that only eighty percent votes should be cast, but when I enquired, some officials in other districts there is was no such thing imposed to the voters”.

The people are confused regarding the news so the deputy commissioner of Chandel should clarify on the matter, he demanded.

“Though we receive instructions through a telephonic conversation from an unknown number, informing us to allow only eighty percent of the voters, we do not have the rights to stop the people from casting their vote”, said a presiding officer of polling station 41/16 at Maha Union high school.

We carried on with our duty and the voting is normal without any disturbances. The caller also warned us for a re-poll if the poll percentage exceeds eighty percent of the total voters, said the presiding officer.

Our Tamenglong Correspondent adds:

In Tamenglong district, votes were cast under tight security. Despite the bad weather, all polling teams reached their station last night. It is reported that at least 83.12 percent votes were cast at 5 pm and there has not been any malpractice of voting or violence till the time of filling this report.

92.79 percent votes were recorded in 52-Tamei assembly constituency; 83.39 percent votes were recorded in 53- Tamenglong while 77.39 percent votes were recorded for 54-Nungba assembly constituency. The average percentage may change when polling officials arrive.

The district administration has set up ‘Model Polling Stations’ at Tamenglong Higher Secondary school where all female officials were kept on duty. The district administration together with NGOs put flower pots, drinking water, decorated with balloons while toilet facilities were made available at model polling station. People with disabilities, elderly men and women also came to cast their votes.

In all 190 polling stations in Tamenglong and Noney district, at least 55 CCTVs were installed at 55 polling stations. Checking and verification continues at the time of filling this report.

Our Ukhrul Correspondent adds:

DC of Ukhrul, Harmit Singh Pahuja has informed IFP that the17th Lok Sabha election poll for 2-outer Manipur (ST) parliamentary constituency has been conducted peacefully and successfully at Ukhrul and Kamjong districts except for two incidents at Poi A and Poi B polling stations under 45-Chingai where two EVMs have been reported to be being broken.

He stated that at the initial stages there were some hiccups because some of the EVMs were not working; but they were replaced and the polling continued smoothly thereafter.

While stating that the voters turn-out was very high, the DC mentioned that the SVEEP Campaign undertaken by the Chief Electoral Officer, Manipur has been very successful with voters turn out tentatively at 86 percent. “It is likely to go little higher as we wait for the precise reports of the presiding officers,” he added.

It may be mentioned here that Poi A polling station has a total of 691voters has Poi B has 635 voters; and with the breakdown of EVMs at both the polling stations, re-polling will be conducted at the polling stations as per the announcement of the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Meanwhile, as per the information provided by Election Officer (EO), Ukhrul, the total votes casted in the assembly constituency are: (a) 85.88 percent at 43-Phungyar, (b) 85.87 percent at 44-Ukhrul and (c) 90.58 percent at 45-Chingai. The record of 45-Chingai is the highest in amongst all those of the assembly constituency.

~IFP

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