Polling begins in 38 constituencies for first phase

In power since 2002 Okram Ibobi Singh is among the rare Manipur CMs who have managed to complete a full term

Polling has commenced in 38 constituencies for the first phase of Manipur Assembly elections 2017.

Dewangan also said that the exact turnout will only be known after the arrival of the polling officials from the remote and interior hill areas, adding that they will be airlifted only on Sunday evening.

The polling will start at 0700 hrs and end at 1700 hrs. No major law and order problem was reported during the balloting at 1,643 polling stations. There was only one case of violence, wherein a candidate, Erenedo, of the People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance, has claimed that he was assaulted by unknown people. Playing the saffron party's election song, "Thambal", the bus travelled in various parts of Imphal East and Imphal West districts. The second phase of polling will take place on March 8 covering remaining 22 seats in the state.

There are 635 candidates in the fray for the sixth phase, of which, 20 per cent have criminal background and 25 per cent are crorepatis.

Among the BJP, some of the prominent figures contesting this elections are Former Union Minister Th Chaoba, former Minister Y.Erabot, former Minister N.Biren, Former chairman of the HAc V Hankhalien, veteran politician Okram Joy.

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Polls were held under tight security in the State and according to the statistics of the office of the Chief Electoral Office, over 9,000 security personnel were deployed across the polling stations including State Police and Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMF). Manipur's political heavyweight and former Congress minister Phungzathang Tonsing, who had resigned from the grand old party, contested from Churachandpur constituency on the ticket of National People's Party (NPP) in the first phase of the state polls. The high-voltage campaign witnessed BJP president Amit Shah holding a roadshow in Gorakhpur and other leaders, including SP president Akhilesh Yadav, Congress vice- president Rahul Gandhi addressing several meetings to wind up their canvassing. BJP is contesting 45 seats and its ally Apna Dal is fighting for one seat.

The districts going to polls today are Mau, Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Deoria, Azamgarh and Ballia.

There are 168 candidates in the fray for the Saturday polls.

As per reports, the Phase 1 assembly elections in Manipur were held peacefully, unlike the 2012 election where attacks reportedly killed 5. As per the 2012 elections results in these 49 seats, 27 are won by SP, 9 by BSP, 7 by BJP, 4 by Congress and others 2.

In this first phase election BJP is fielding candidates in all the 38 assembly constituencies while the ruling congress could field only in 37 assembly constituencies. In the sixth phase, voters gave their verdict on 49 seats across seven districts.

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