Manipur elections: Voting underway in 38 seats in first phase
Polling to elect members of the state legislative assembly in the northeastern state of Manipur began on Monday morning. Thirty-eight out of the total 60 constituencies are going to poll in the first phase. More than 12 lakh voters will decide the fate of 173 candidates. The voting started at 7 am and will go on until 4 pm.
- The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which currently rules Manipur, is looking to retain power in these elections.
- The rival Congress, on the other hand, is fighting for survival in the northeastern region.
- In the 2017 polls, Congress had emerged as the single-largest party by winning 28 seats but the BJP formed the government with support from smaller parties.
The BJP has fielded candidates in all 38 seats as its coalition partners National People's Party (NPP) and the Naga People's Front (NPF) decided to contest solo. The Congress is contesting in 35 seats, the Janata Dal (United) in 28, and the NPP in 27. Besides, the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party, as well as 18 independent candidates are also in the fray.
Manipur has been troubled by violence in the run-up to the elections. On Saturday night, JD(U) candidate Wanglembam Rojit Singh was shot at by unknown people in the Imphal East district. He was taken to a hospital and is undergoing treatment. The incident triggered protests in the area and security was tightened. Over 2,000 incidents related to polls have been reported, according to officials.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "Urging all those voting today in the first phase of the Manipur Assembly elections to turnout in record numbers and cast their vote. I particularly call upon the young and first time voters to exercise their franchise." Meanwhile, the Congress party said, "Choose those who choose your health & happiness. Manipur, go Vote! for good governance (sic)."
CM and BJP candidate from Heingang, N Biren Singh casts his vote at Shrivan High School in Imphal.— ANI (@ANI) February 28, 2022
He says, "I'm expecting that 75% people of my constituency will vote for BJP me. BJP is expecting at least 30 out of 38 seats in the first phase. People of Manipur like PM Modi" pic.twitter.com/dgr5SxGxuj
Until 9 am on Monday, a voter turnout of nearly 10% was recorded, according to data from the Election Commission. The second and final phase of the Manipur elections will be held on March 5. Votes will be counted on March 10, the same day when election results will also be declared for four other states—Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and Goa.