Campaign-II ends on a high note
Campaigning for the second phase of 2019 Lok Sabha elections reached its peak in Assam with chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal and finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma holding back-to-back rallies before it drew to a close at 5pm on Tuesday.
Sonowal and Sarma addressed four election rallies each in Karimganj and Mangaldoi respectively.
Five Assam constituencies — Karimganj (SC), Mangaldoi, Silchar, Nowgong and Autonomous District — will go to the polls on April 18.
Elections to one parliamentary seat in Manipur (Inner) will be held in the second phase.
For the six seats of the Northeast, altogether 71 candidates, including five women, are in the fray.
Mangaldoi Congress candidate Bhubaneswar Kalita held a 15km roadshow from Sipajhar to Dalgaon, accompanied by PCC president Ripun Bora and senior party leaders Debabrata Saikia, Bismita Gogoi, Joiinath Sarma and Basanta Das. BJP candidate Dilip Saikia and Sarma had held a roadshow in Mangaldoi town on Monday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had campaigned for the BJP candidates in Silchar (Rajdeep Roy) and Mangaldoi while AICC president Rahul Gandhi and AICC general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi campaigned for Silchar candidate Sushmita Dev.
In Nagaon district, BJP candidate Rupak Sarma participated in a road show at the district headquarters while Congress candidate Pradyut Bordoloi addressed a poll rally at Dakhinpat. Former chief minister Tarun Gogoi addressed a gathering at Raha.
Karimganj deputy commissioner-cum-district election officer Keerthi Jalli said polling parties left with poll materials for remote and inaccessible booths on Tuesday. There are 200 vulnerable and critical polling stations in Karimganj, guarded by the Central Armed Police Forces and state police. “We have deployed adequate companies of CAPF apart from Assam police personnel,” Karimganj superintendent of police Mohneesh Mishra said.
In Dima Hasao, under Autonomous District constituency, around 596 civil and police personnel moved to their assigned polling stations in the interior areas on Tuesday. Similar measures were being taken for the other seats.
Rain and thunderstorm disrupted electioneering in certain areas of central Assam and the north bank under Nowgong, Mangaldoi and Autonomous District constituencies on Monday and Tuesday.
In Manipur valley, the BJP held several rallies, including those by chief minister N. Biren Singh at Sagolbandh Moirang Leirak and Kwak Keithel in Imphal, on Tuesday. The party candidate for Manipur Inner is R.K. Ranjan.
CPI candidate M. Nara led a bike rally from Singjamei to Lilong. Former chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh addressed a rally for Congress candidate O. Nabakishore at Heingang and Thoubal. Independent R.K. Somendro (Kaiku) also campaigned at several places.
Eleven candidates, including four Independents, are in the fray for Inner Manipur.
The Election Commission has ordered repolling at booth No. 165 in Dhemaji Town High School (East Wing) under Lakhimpur constituency from 7am till 5pm on April 18.
Voting was halted at the polling station in the first phase on April 11 because of chaos triggered by an alleged misconduct by the presiding officer. The officer allegedly forgot to press the “clear” button after the mandatory mock polling that takes place before actual voting begins.
Nearly 93 per cent voters cast their ballots during repolling at the Konarchar booth in Meghalaya’s West Garo Hills on Monday, for both the Lok Sabha and the Selsella byelections, officials said. The repoll was necessitated due to a mix up of the EVMs for the Lok Sabha and Selsella byelection held on April 11, they said. Out of a total of 674 eligible voters under Konachar polling station, 665 cast their ballot for the Lok Sabha elections and 663 for the Assembly bypoll, election officials said, PTI adds.
Additional reporting by Ngangbam Indrakanta Singh in Imphal and our correspondents in Mangaldoi and Hailakandi