2 killed in Manipur poll violence, state logs 76% turnout in phase 2

Updated on Mar 05, 2022 10:31 PM IST

CEO Rajesh Agrawal said of the total 22 constituencies that went to polls on Saturday, Mao assembly constituency in Senapati district remained at the top with the highest polling percentage of 86.78%, followed by Hiyanglam assembly constituency (86.31%), while Tamei assembly seat witnessed the lowest voting percentage (61.23%) till 5 PM.

Former chief minister and CLP leader O Ibobi Singh after exercising his franchise in Thoubal district on Saturday. (HT PHOTO.)
Former chief minister and CLP leader O Ibobi Singh after exercising his franchise in Thoubal district on Saturday. (HT PHOTO.)
BySobhapati Samom

Two persons were killed in separate incidents of poll violence that saw heated arguments among political party workers and electronic voting machines (EVMs) being damaged in the second phase of voting for 22 of the 60 assembly constituencies in Manipur on Saturday.

The overall voting percentage was 76.04% at 5 pm, but officials said the figure is likely to increase after all the votes are tabulated.

One person was killed and another injured when security personnel opened fire at a group of people trying to snatch an EVM from a polling booth in Karong assembly constituency in Senapati district by attacking poll personnel.

According to a statement issued by Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Manipur, Rajesh Agrawal, on Saturday, the injured person in the Karong incident is under treatment at RIMS Hospital, Imphal.

In another incident that took place on Friday night, hours prior to the beginning of polling, a worker of a political party was shot at by workers from a rival party in Thoubal district. The injured person succumbed to injuries on Friday.

According to reports, there was a fight between both sides over campaigning just ahead of polling. The police haven’t given details of the political parties involved in the incident.

CEO Rajesh Agrawal said of the total 22 constituencies that went to polls on Saturday, Mao assembly constituency in Senapati district remained at the top with the highest polling percentage of 86.78%, followed by Hiyanglam assembly constituency (86.31%), while Tamei assembly seat witnessed the lowest voting percentage (61.23%) till 5 PM.

“The final voting percentage will be notified after arrival of all political parties,” the statement read.

Claiming that polling in Imphal Valley area was peaceful, the CEO said, there were twelve incidents of damages to EVMs by miscreants reported from six polling stations under Tengnoupal assembly constituency, two polling stations each in Ukhrul and Chingai assembly constituencies and one each in Tadubi and Karong assembly constituencies in the hill districts..

There were also a few complaints from certain political parties and candidates during the polls, the Manipur CEO said, “However, a majority of the issues were resolved and prompt action was taken,” he added.

Before the voting started at 7am, a large number of voters were seen standing in front of the polling stations particularly in Thoubal district which houses 10 assembly constituencies.

Altogether 92 candidates including 2 women candidates contested in the first phase of polling. The ruling BJP has fielded candidates in all 22 seats while the opposition Congress has 18. BJP ally National People’s Party (NPP) has 11 candidates, Janata Dal (U) and Naga People’s Front(NPF) have 10, CPI has one while there are 12 Independent candidates in the fray.

The second phase of polling will decide the fate of former Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, former Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam, Ministers Awangbow New Newmai, L Dikho, former minister Th Radheshyam, N Kayisii, M Okendra and K Ranjit who are seeking re-election from Thoubal, Nungba, Tamei, Mao, Heirok, Tadubi and Sugnoo assembly constituencies.

In the 2017 assembly elections, Congress, which emerged as the single largest party but was unable to form the government;, bagged 12 out of these 22 seats including 8 seats in Thoubal district alone. The BJP won just 3 seats while NPF and NPP secured 4 and 2 seats respectively.

“I have full confidence that we’ll win absolute majority or in case there is shortage of one or two seats, then we’ll think of other alliance partners,” former Chief Minister Ibobi Singh claimed after casting his vote at Athokpam Makha Upper Primary school polling booth on Saturday. “In the last elections, we secured 8 seats in Thoubal district. But this time we will secure 9 out of its 10 seats.”

BJP’s key candidate Th Radheshyam Singh who had won the Heirok seat in Thoubal district in the last elections, said, “We’ll perform three times better than our performance in 2017 elections.”

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Thursday, February 02, 2023
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