Modi appeals to vote in Manipur, UP polls

Cheryl Sanders
March 4, 2017

Necessary arrangement has been made for the smooth conduct of the first phase of the two-phase Manipur Assembly elections tomorrow.

The first phase of elections to the 11th Manipur legislative assembly begins on March 4, with polling in 38 constituencies spread across five districts - Imphal East, Imphal West, Churachandpur, Pherzawl, Bishnupur and Kangpokpi. The number of new voters is 45,642.

Earlier in the day, polling began amid tight security, with around 280 companies of central paramilitary forces, armed police of other states deployed to maintain peaceful polling.

It also accused Leishiyo of "cheating, harassing and threatening people" during the election campaign in Pungyar assembly constituency, from where he is contesting.

This election marks the debut of Irom Sharmila's People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) party.

The Inner-Line Permit (ILP) issue remains the biggest election plank for an overwhelming 62 per cent of the voters in Manipur.

Sharmila, who cast her vote, said she feels responsible after voting after a gap of 20 years.

No untoward incident has been reported so far, the EC said.

For the second phase on March 08, altogether 98 candidates are in thefray in 22 constituencies.

837 polling stations have been identified as hyper sensitive and 529 as sensitive. According to the Press Trust of India (PTI), 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. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had accused the BJP of "compromising with the territorial integrity" of Manipur.

The two-phased elections - the next phase is on March 8 - are, however, going to see a keen contest for power between the two biggest national parties - the incumbent Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

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