Polling peaceful in M’pur, Arunachal and M’laya

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  Polling peaceful in M’pur, Arunachal and M’laya

Imphal/ Shillong/itanagar, Apr 11 : Around 73 percent of the total 911,699 voters in Outer Manipur constituency Wednesday cast their ballots as polling to one of the two constituencies in the northeastern state passed off peacefully, officials said.

Election Commission and police officials said that balloting took place peacefully in constituency, reserved for tribal candidates, with no major untoward incidents reported so far.

“Dressed in traditional attire, long queues of voters were seen in most of the polling stations even before the voting started at 7 a.m. The balloting ended at 4 p.m,” an Election Commission official told reporters.

“About 73 percent voters cast their votes in the Outer Manipur constituency. There was no report of any untoward incident,” he said, adding that the turnout might go up after the final reports came in as there were still some people to cast votes.

However, a police spokesman said that there were some incidents of scuffles between the members of rival political parties in Ukhrul and Churachandpur districts. “But due to timely intervention of the security forces, no major incidents occurred in both the places,” he said.

Voting in the Inner Manipur constituency will be held April 17. The northeastern state, which shares a border with Myanmar, is ruled by the Congress.

In the last Lok Sabha elections in 2009, the turnout of voters in the entire state was 77.82 percent.

Due to security reasons, the polling hours in Manipur and Nagaland was from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m, unlike the other northeastern states where votes can be cast between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Poll panel official said that polling went off peacefully in all the five hill districts of Ukhrul, Senapati, Chandel, Tamenglong and Churachandpur, where central security forces have been deployed in large numbers.

In all, 911,699 voters, including 463,068 women, will elect one representative in the lower house of parliament from among the 10 candidates, including one women aspirant.

There were 1,406 polling stations in the constituency.

The Congress had re-nominated its sitting member Thangso Baite while the BJP has fielded Gangmumei Kamei, the Trinamool Congress Kim Gangte, and the Nationalist Congress Party Chungkhokai Doungel.

Gangte, 51, was the first woman parliamentarian from Manipur to be elected to the Lok Sabha in 1998. She was then as a Communist Party of India (CPI) nominee.

Repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, and development were the major issues in the election this year.

BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi addressed rallies in the state, once ravaged by the terrorism. Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had campaigned in the hill districts of Senapati and Tamenglong for candidates of his Naga Peoples Front.

Over 66 per cent votes polled in M’laya

Over 66 per cent voters exercised their franchise in the polls to two parliamentary seats in Meghalaya, which passed off peacefully Wednesday.

“The poll turn-out was recorded at 66 per cent till 5 PM when most of the polling was closed,” state Chief Election Officer P Naik told PTI.

The final polling figure would, however, be got only after information from remote polling stations arrived, he said.

Polling was peaceful and there was no report of any untoward incident, state Director General of Police P J P Haaman said.

Voting was held amid a boycott called by banned Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council in Khasi–Jaintia Hills region and threats of militant attacks in 188 polling stations in the Garo Hills region.

Voters defied the 12-hour bandh called by HNLC and turned out in huge numbers wearing their traditional colourful dresses and waited in long queues at the polling stations where security was beefed up.

The fate of 10 candidates, including former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma and lone woman candidate Ivory Shylla will be decided in today’s poll.

Over 4,000 EVMs equipped with special Braille-code buttons and having NOTA option were used for the first time in the state. As many as 41 companies of paramilitary forces were deployed for the polls, election office sources said.

16 malfunctioning EVMs replaced during polling in AP

About 55 percent votes were cast Wednesday for the two Lok Sabha seats and 49 out of the 60 assembly seats in Arunachal Pradesh, where the simultaneous polling was held peacefully, PTI reported. The vote percentage will go up as reports from interior districts are yet to be received, Election Commission sources said.

As many as 16 Electronic Voting Machines were today replaced after they developed technical snags during voting for the two Lok Sabha seats and 49 out of 60 Assembly seats in Arunachal Pradesh, the EC said Wednesday.

State Chief Electoral officer Chandra Bhusan Kumar said polling process halted for a brief period after three EVMs developed technical snag in three booths at Naharlagun, while 13 EVMs were found defective during mock polling (6 am to 7 am) before formal voting begun. “We are well prepared for such a situation and enough EVMs are kept in reserve to conduct the poll process smoothly,” Kumar said.

Two separate EVMs have been used in each polling station for Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Altogether, 4316 EVMs are being used for voting throughout the state.

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