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regular-article-logo Friday, 24 May 2024

High turnout recorded in Manipur repoll after mob violence disrupts voting on April 19

The turnout took the overall voting percentage for the Inner Manipur seat, located in Imphal Valley to 81.6 per cent, a voting percentage which a state CPM leader said could be “favourable” to the INDIA bloc candidate — Congress’ Angomcha Bimol Akoijam, a faculty of JNU in Delhi

Umanand Jaiswal Guwahati Published 23.04.24, 07:52 AM
Police officials stand guard as voters wait to cast their votes at a polling station in Imphal on Monday.

Police officials stand guard as voters wait to cast their votes at a polling station in Imphal on Monday. Reuters

Over 81 per cent turn-out was recorded during repolling held at eleven polling stations under the Inner Manipur parliamentary constituency amid heavy security on Monday.

Voting under these polling stations was marred by “mob violence” on April 19 prompting the Election Commission on Saturday to order repolling under 11 polling stations on Monday.

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An election official told The Telegraph that repolling turnout was 81.64 per cent and no untoward incident was reported from any of the polling stations.

The turnout took the overall voting percentage for the Inner Manipur seat, located in Imphal Valley to 81.6 per cent, a voting percentage which a state CPM leader said could be “favourable” to the INDIA bloc candidate — Congress’ Angomcha Bimol Akoijam, a faculty of JNU in Delhi.

Repolling was held under two polling stations under the Khurai Assembly constituency, four under Kshetrigao LAC and one under Thongju under Imphal East district while three under Uripok LAC and one under Konthoujam LAC in Imphal West district.

“Repolling was peaceful. There was heavy security. The high turnout could be favourable to the Opposition INDIA bloc candidate,” he said. A ten-party INDIA bloc is taking on the ruling BJP in the strife-hit state.

Though the main contest is between Akoijam and state cabinet minister Thounaojam Basanta Kumar Singh of the BJP, political observers said RPI (A)’s Maheshwar Thounaojam had also mounted a spirited campaign. Six candidates are vying for the Inner Manipur seat.

The EC had declared polling held under the affected polling stations on Friday as void under the Section 58(2) and 58 (A) 2 of the RPA, 1951 following recommendations from the chief electoral officer (CEO), Manipur. Section 58 deals with fresh polling in case of the destruction of ballot boxes and booth capturing, among others.

The recommendation for repolling by the returning officer said “mob violence” led to the disruption and destruction of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during polling on Friday, developments that “vitiated to such an extent that the result of the poll there cannot be ascertained for reasons indicated against each polling station”.

Incidents of vandalism, intimidation of voters and agents and booth-capturing by unidentified criminals led to general public giving vent to their anger over the untoward incidents by destroying the EVMs, sources said.

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