Valley goes to the polls today
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 13: After an un ceremonious demise of the Seventh State Assembly, the stage is all set for holding the first phase election to the Eight State Assembly in 40 valley constituencies tomorrow.

Preparations for the polling which will begin at 7 am and continue till 4 pm have been completed by late tonight.

All polling personnel and security personnel along with polling materials have reached their respective district headquarters and polling stations by late evening today.

Around 5760 polling officials excluding the reserves will be on duty in 1152 poll stations tomorrow.

Each station will be manned by five personnel.

In the two capital districts, 689 Government and 234 private vehicles will be used.

Requisition of 100 private Jeeps, Gypsys and Tata Sumos will be done on February 15 and another 50 jeeps, Gypsys and Tata Sumos on February 16 at the Transport Cell at Palace Compound from 7 am, said a notification issued by the Transport Director today.

Of the total polling stations, 206 are graded hyper sensitive (HS), 611 sensitive and the remaining as normal.

Imphal East having 11 ACs has 62 HS stations out of the total of 325 with Khundrakpam and Lamlai making up 12 and 11 stations respectively.

Imphal West with 13 ACs has 30 HS out of 361 stations with Lamsang having 8.A total of 88 stations areHSin Thoubal district's 296 stations and the rest are sensitive.

Heirok has 26 HS stations, Wabgai 16 and Wangjing Tentha 14.Of the 170 stations in Bishnupur district's six ACs, 26 are HS with Moirang and Nambol making up 7 each.

A total of 288 candidates including five women are in the fray.

The female candidates are DPP's O Bimola in Oinam AC, INC's AK Mirabai in Patsoi, BJP's Th Manisang in Konthoujam, INC's W Leima and NCP's S Radhapyari in Naoriya Pakhanglakpa AC.

Eleven candidates are pitted in Sagolband AC while Kakching and Nambol ACs have only three candidates each.

Altogether 8,89,160 voters including 4,61,280 female will exercise their franchise.

Moirang AC has the highest number of voters with 28.166 while Singjamei has the least with 17,878.Security Nodal Officer Sandhu, DIG Ops said that security arrangement for the peaceful conduct of the polls has been completed.

He said 40 BSF and CRPF companies and 20 MR, IRB and civil police coys and 500 unarmed home guards and forest guards will be used in the first phase election.

All hyper sensitive stations will he provided armed personnel only, he said.

Another source said 124 vehicles will be used by poll personnel and another 54 by police in Bishnupur district.

BSF DIG Manipur and Nagaland Sector PK Mishra said BSF has also completed preparations for peaceful polling.

Stating that 46 BSF coys will be deployed in the two phase poll, he said 3 coys have been sent in Imphal East and West, 4 in Thoubal, 20 in Bishnupur.

Another 12 and 15 coys will be used in Chandel and Churachandpur district.

The personnel will carrv out both station and mobile duties, he said and added that BSF personnel have also moved into interior areas in the hill for the second phase to man hyper sensitive, stations.

Mishra said BSF has referred its report on payment of money by candidates to UGs to police.

In the meantime, the Government has appointed several officers as sectoral magistrates for smooth conduct of the poll.

Among them, three officers have been stationed at Jiribam AC.

They are Treasury officer Md Kasim, SDAO RK Dorenchand and DFO Ch Iboton.

Meanwhile, Indian Air Force officials will he despatched to oversee the helipads at Churachandpur, Chandel, Senapati and Tamenglong district tomorrow.

The helipad at Ukhrul will be visited on February 15.Churachandpur has 9 helipads.

Tamenglong 5, Senapati 9, Ukhrul 3 and Chandel 1.