Manipur votes for 2nd phase, ex CM O Ibobi Singh among key candidates: 10 points
The polling for second phase began at 7 am and will continue till 4 pm.
Manipur is voting on Saturday for the second phase of assembly elections in 22 seats across six districts. This is the last phase of polling in the northeastern state - where the ruling BJP is trying to maintain its hold - as this season of state elections comes to end in a few days. The polling began at 7 am and will continue till 4 pm. Ninety-two candidates are contesting in the second phase. The results will for Manipur elections will be announced on March 10 along with Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa and Uttarakhand.
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Here are the 10 points to know about the Manipur Assembly elections:
1) Both the BJP and the Congress have expressed confidence that they will be able to win a majority of seats polling in the second phase. While the BJP's state chief A Sharda Devi said they will get at least 15 of the 22 seats, Congress’s Manipur in charge Bhakta Charan Das has said they will get a minimum of 17 seats. The Manipur assembly has 60 seats.
2) In the second phase of Manipur elections, constituencies that are voting are: Lilong, Thoubal, Wangkhem, Heirok, Wangjing Tentha, Khangabo, Wabgai, Kakching, Hiyanglam, Sugnoo, Jiribam, Chandel (ST), Tengnoupal (ST), Phungyar (ST), Ukhrul (ST), Chingai (ST), Karong (ST), Mao (ST), Tadubi (ST), Tamei (ST), Tamenglong (ST), and Nungba (ST), are holding polling. These constituencies are spread across six districts.
3) Congress veteran and former chief minister O Ibobi Singh is one of the key candidates in this phase. He is contesting from the Thoubal seat where polling was disrupted at one of the booths on Saturday morning due to a technical snag. He has served as the chief minister thrice between 2012 and 2017.
4. While a confident BJP is fighting all seats solo this time, its coalition partner Naga People's Front (NPF) - eyeing to be the kingmaker this time according to some analysts - has fielded 10 candidates in the second phase.
5. Congress, the main contender of BJP, is fighting the polls in alliance with six political parties -- Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) and Janata Dal (Secular).
6. The term of the current Manipur assembly will end on March 19. Even though Congress emerged as the single-largest party, the BJP formed its government in 2017 with the support of the National People's Party (NPP), Naga People's Front (NPF) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). This time, the BJP has set a target of winning 40 seats.
7. Nungpa, Mao, and Tengnoupal are among the other key seats where voting is being held on Saturday. Queues were seen outside polling booths early morning.
8. The northeastern state has a total of 60 constituencies, out of which 38 went to the polls in the first phase of the elections which was held on February 28. Repolling is also being held in 12 polling stations across five constituencies that went to the polls in the first phase.
9. There are 1,247 polling stations in the second phase of the Manipur Assembly elections. A total of about 8.38 lakh voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in this phase.
10. Those who are Covid positive are allowed to vote in the last hour between 3 pm to 4 pm. The state recorded an average voter turnout of 78.30 per cent in the first phase of voting, as per the Election Commission of India (ECI).
(With agency inputs)