Sources said some EVMs developing technical snag were reported from Tamenglong district. All eyes were on Thoubal, where Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh was seeking re-election as a Congress candidate in a five-cornered contest that also featured human rights activist and People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRAJA) nominee Irom Sharmila and Bharatiya Janata Party's Leitanthem Basanta Singh.
Chandel, Imphal East, Senapati, Tamenglong, Thoubal, Ukhrul districts are voting for Manipur's next government today. Thoubal. Mr Singh's son was also contesting in this phase. Surjakurnar Okram had been fielded from Khangabok. Former Churchill Brothers skipper Somatai Shaiza was contesting on a BJP ticket from Ukhrul. Moirangthem Okendro, the Congress sitting MLA and Minister of Education, was contesting from Heirok.
Meanwhile, former MP and PDA candidate of Chandel had complained that most of the photo voter slips had been snatched away by militants. He alleged that militants were in total control of elections. Reports of minor scuffle also poured in from Wangjing. The fate of 98 candidates, including that of four women, would be decided in today's polling.
The candidates included 22 each of the Congress and the BJP, two of the CPI, six of the Trinamool Congress and one of the NCP. This apart, 12 recognised state political parties' candidates, 24 registered but unrecognised parties' candidates and 24 Independents were also in the contention. The second phase covered Thoubal , Kakching, Ukhrul, Jiribam, Chandel, Tengnoupal, Senapati, Kamjong , Churachandpur, Tamenglong and Noney districts. Altogether 3,81,381 male voters, 3, 93,091 female voters , 3738 male service voters and 1159 female service voters were supposed to exercise their franchise in 1151 polling stations. Eds : Pls pick up suitably from earlier series. (UNI)
UP polls: 44 pc voting in 40 seats till 1400 hrs
Lucknow: An estimated 44 per cent of the total 1 crore and 41 lakh electorate exercised their franchise in the first seven hours of polling in 40 Assembly seats covering seven districts of Poorvanchal in Uttar Pradesh today. Except for some EVM glitches, the voting was peaceful, claimed UP Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) T Venkatesh here. He said that till 0900 hrs, the voting percentage on an average was 10.43 per cent which increased to 22.84 per cent till 1100 hrs and at 37.68 per cent at 1300 hrs.
He said at 1400 hours, the polling percentage was around 44. Though the polling began on a dull note, it picked up as the day progressed and people were seen queuing up in front of their booths. With this, voting in all the 403 Assembly seats would be completed today,except for one of Alapur seat in Ambedkarnagar district where the polling has been deferred to tomorrow due to sudden demise of the SP candidate. The polling, which started in all the 40 seats at 0700 hrs, will end at 1700 hrs except for three Naxalite-infested constituencies of Chakia in Chandauli district and Dudhi and Robertsganj in Sonebhadra district where it will end at 1600 hrs.
According to some reports, voting started at booth numbers 269 ad 260 in Chandauli (Sakaldiha Assembly constituency) one hour late due to technical glitch in the EBMs. Meanwhile, Apna Dal (Sonelal) president and Union Minister Anupriya Patel cast her vote at polling booth no. 335 of Mirzapur, claiming that the BJP and its alliance partners would win all 40 seats in this phase. Senior BJP leader and MP from Kanpur, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi has cast his vote in Varanasi.
Congress leader Ajai Rai, who is contesting from Pindra seat has cast his vote at polling booth no. 389 of Varanasi South. Union minister of state for railways and telecommunication Manoj Sinha, who exercised his franchise in Ghazipur, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rallies in Varanasi had made the difference for the party and they will get absolute majority in the elections. Meanwhile at 1300 hrs, the voting percentage were: Bhadoi- 37.37 per cent , Chandauli 36.50 per cent, Ghazipur- 35.57 per cent, Jaunpur- 37.43 per cent , Mirzapur- 38.04 per cent, Sonebhadra- 42.50 per cent and Varanasi- 37.88 per cent. (UNI)