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Manipur repoll peaceful

Imphal, April 12: Repolling in six polling stations of Outer Manipur constituency today was peaceful with a huge voter turnout.

The repoll was ordered in four polling stations where more than 100 per cent votes were cast.

Repoll was also ordered at a polling station after the electronic voting machine (EVM) was damaged and in another after some persons prevented voters from casting votes and terrorised poll personnel during Wednesday’s polling.

“Polling was peaceful and there was no trouble this time as there was adequate security deployment,” chief electoral officer O. Nabakishore Singh said.

Eighty armed personnel of paramilitary forces were deployed at each polling station. Senior state police officers supervised security arrangements at the polling stations.

The Naga People’s Front (NPF), urged the Election Commission to ensure safe custody of the EVMs and prevent manipulation by the ruling Congress party.

The party expressed apprehension over possible “manipulation” in voting machines after chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh and home minister Gaikhangam predicted —immediately after the polling hours were over on Wednesday — that the Congress candidate would win the seat by a margin of 1.5 lakh votes.

Sitting MP Thangso Baite of the Congress is seeking re-election from Outer Manipur while the NPF is fielding Soso Lorho, a former minister.

In his representation, W. Morung Makunga, election agent of Lorho, asked how the chief minister and his deputy could predict the margin just after polling.

The prediction indicated that the Congress was planning to manipulate of the voting machines to their advantage so as to make their prediction true, the agent feared.

BJP gain: Former minister and ex-president of the MPP Nimaichand Luwang today joined the BJP along with nine supporters.

Welcoming Luwang to the party, BJP president Thounaojam Chaoba Singh said he would strengthen the BJP.

The BJP is contesting both the Outer Manipur and Inner Manipur seats.