Polling concluded at 3 PM in the Northeastern state of the country to elect 38 members of the legislative assembly in Phase 1 of Manipur elections 2017, amid tight security measures. The state faces a stiff battle between Congress and BJP, especially after three-month long economic blockade.
The first phase covered 38 constituencies for which 1,643 polling stations have been set up in areas spread over Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishnupur and the hill districts of Churachandpur and Kangpokpi.
In all, 168 candidates contested in the first phase. The state has a 19,02,562-strong electorate comprising 9,28,573 male voters and 9,73,989 female voters. There are around 45,642 new voters.
Read | Manipur Assembly elections: 54 crorepatis in the first phase, voting on March 4
As it happened | Key events throughout the day:
# 84% voter turnout till 3pm in phase one of Manipur polls, as per details from 72% of polling stations. Details of remaining stations not yet received: EC.
#3:15 PM: Voting concludes at 3PM.
#2:03 PM: According to reports, Voting will soon conclude in Manipur around 3 PM.
#1:22 PM: Mega voting toll in Manipur till 1 PM, 69% turnout recorded
#12:43 PM: Irom Sharmila's party People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance Party's candidate Errando has been reportedly attacked by unknown persons in Imphal. Now admitted to RIMS. Errando is reportedly a close aide to Irom Sharmila.
#11:20 AM: Heavy voting continues in Manipur, voter turnout inching towards half way mark after 43 per cent voting was recorded till 11 AM.
#10:10 AM: PRAJA Chief Irom Sharmila casts her vote at Khurai assembly constituency, expresses confidence of victory.
#9:36 AM: Speedy polling continues in Manipur, 21 per cent voters exercise their right till 9 AM.
#9:05 AM: Earthquake of magnitude 5 hit Myanmar-India (Manipur) Border Region at 7:42 AM, peaceful polling continues.
#8:26 AM: Heavy voter turnout at the start of the day, 10 percent polling done till 8 AM.
#7:15 AM: Earthquake of magnitude 3.5 in Manipur's Chandel at 05:08 AM today, no loss/damage reported
#7:00 AM: Voting begins in 38 constituencies in Phase 1 of Manipur elections.
Important details about Manipur Phase 1 Elections
# Total Assembly Constituencies: 60
# Date of Polling: March 4 (Phase 1 of 2)
# Total Electorate: 19,02,562 (9,28,573 male voters, 9,73,989 female voters)
# Major Parties & Alliance
- Indian National Congress
- Trinamool Congress
- Bhartiya Janata Party
# 2012 Assembly Election Results:
- Congress: 42 Seats (70%)
- TMC: 7 Seats (11.6%)
- Others: 11 Seats (18.4%)
# 2014 Lok Sabha Election Result
- Congress: 2 Seats (100%)
Economic blockade and other poll issues
In the run-up to the election for the 60-member House, all political parties in their campaigns mainly focused on the continuing economic blockade imposed by the United Naga Council and the state government’s inability to break it.
The other important issues which hogged the attention of the political parties are alleged lack of development, massive corruption, misappropriation of funds and worsening law and order in the state.
Congress vs BJP vs Irom Sharmilla
Congress leaders, including party vice president Rahul Gandhi, put the spotlight on the “secretive nature” and contents of the Naga Framework Agreement between the central government and the NSCN (IM) in 2015.
BJP leaders targeted the ruling party for its alleged failure to lift the over three month-long economic blockade on the two national highways of the land-locked state.
BJP leaders also levelled corruption charges against the Congress government and its inability to provide basic amenities to the people of the state, particularly the supply of potable water.
The Congress counterposed, saying the government during its 15-year rule implemented several development projects and improved the power supply.
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh in a recent election rally had accused the BJP of trying to take credit for development projects like railway projects initiated and inaugurated by the Congress.
All eyes are on rights activist Irom Sharmila Chanu who broke her 16-year fast last year and founded a party of her own ‘Peoples’ Resurgence and Justice Alliance’ to fight the Assembly election in her quest to get the dreaded AFSPA repealed.
The party is fielding three candidates. The fate of one of the candidates would be decided in the first phase of the election.
Counting of votes will take place on March 11.
(With inputs from PTI)