Polling ended on Wednesday to elect 22 members of legislative assembly in the final phase of Manipur elections 2017, in high-stake battle for incumbent chief minister Ibobi Singh and activist Irom Sharmilla.
The first phase of the Assembly polls, covering 38 seats, registered an impressive voter turnout and all eyes are now trained on the Thoubal constituency where Sharmila is pitted against the chief minister.
The 22 constituencies are spread across the valley districts of Thoubal and the hill districts of Ukhrul, Chandel, Tamenglong and Senapati. A total of 98 candidates are contesting in these constituencies.
Also Read: Assembly elections 2017 Live: Final phase of assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Manipur begins
1,151 polling stations have been set up for polling in this phase.
The Election Commission has made elaborate security arrangement by deploying 280 companies of central forces for a free and fair conduct of the elections.
The state has a 19,02,562-strong electorate comprising of 9,28,573 male and 9,73,989 female voters. There are around 45,642 new voters this time.
#86% voter turnout recorded in second and final phase polling till 5pm.
Polling ends for final phase-ANI
#02:38 PM: Voter turnout of 78% recorded in Manipur till 2 pm
#01:29 PM: Voter turnout of 67% recorded till 1 pm in second & final phase of voting in Manipur polls 2017
#11:25 AM: 45% voter turnout recorded till 11 AM in the final phase of Manipur elections.
#10:09 AM: 21% voter turnout recorded till 9 AM in the final phase of Manipur elections.
# 07:16 AM: Sure of our win, we are confident: Okram Surjakumar Singh (Manipur CM Okram Ibobi Singh's son) contesting from Khangabok constituency
# 07:11 AM: Will get a clear mandate, this election is something like a referendum, both hill and the valley: Manipur CM Okram Singh after casting vote
# 07:05 AM: Okram I Singh casts vote at polling booth 35/41 at Athokpam Makha Leikai PO in Thoubal
— ANI (@ANI_news) March 8, 2017
# 07.00 AM: Final phase polling begins for assembly elections in Manipur covering 22 constituencies
It’s Sharmila vs Ibobi Singh in phase-II
The second phase will seal the fate of almost all the big names in the state’s politics such as Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, Deputy Chief Minister M Gaikhangam, rights activist-turned politician Irom Chanu Sharmila and others.
The elections in Manipur this time are billed as a crucial test for the 15-year-old Congress regime which is facing a stiff challenge from the BJP.
Also Read: Manipur elections 2017: It’s Sharmila vs Ibobi Singh in phase-II on Wednesday
In the first phase, all political parties in their campaigns focused on the continuing economic blockade by the United Naga Council and the state government’s inability to lift it.
The other important issues exercising the minds of voters are the alleged lack of development, massive corruption, misappropriation of funds and worsening law and order situation in the state.
(With inputs from PTI)