80 pc turn out marks final phase polling, repoll likely in 10 booths
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 23: Except for sporadic incidents of group clash among workers of rival candidates and abortive attempts to snatch EVMs, the third and final phase of polling passed off peacefully today, said Chief Electoral Officer RR Rashmi.

The third and final phase of the election to the 9th Manipur Legislative Assembly was held today for the three ACs of Tamenglong district, two ACs of Chandel district, six ACs of Churachandpur district and one AC of Jiribam Sub-Division.

The day also recorded a high voter turn out with over 80 percent exercising their franchise, Rashmi said, while addressing a press conference at the office of DIPR here this evening.

However repoll is likely to be held at 7 polling stations, including one at Chandel AC and six at Tengnoupal and four at Tamenglong, said sources.

Rashmi said the voter turn out at Chandel and Tamenglong district was 85 percent while Churachandpur district and Jiribam sub-division recorded around 80 to 85 percent and 70 percent respectively.

However, the updated figure of the poll percentage recorded as released by the Additional Chief Electoral Officer PK Singh later in the evening is 88 percent in the 3 Assembly segments of Tamenglong district, 85 percent in the 2 Assembly segments of Chandel district with Moreh block alone recording 97 percent, 83 percent in the six Assembly segments of Churachandpur district and 70 percent in the one Assembly segment of Jiribam Sub-Division under Imphal East District.

Thus recording an overall poll percentage of 85. Helicopters would be utilised to ferry poll materials from 150 remote polling stations tomorrow, the CEO informed, adding that after successful conduct of the election, the poll personnel have begun returning to their respective district headquarters.

�By tomorrow, all the officials would report to their respective ROs�, he said.

There were reports of sporadic incidents of group clashes between the workers of rival candidates and abortive attempt to snatch or damage EVMs, the CEO said.

Rashmi informed that miscreants attempted to damage two polling stations - 58/15 and 58/16 in Churachandpur and another two in Tamenglong and one each in Tengnoupal and Chandel ACs.

On account of reported group clashes between workers of rival candidates, polling was disrupted for sometime in four places, Rashmi further informed, adding that the polling was, however, resumed peacefully.

In 53/2 polling station in Tamenglong, voters� turn out was low owing to simmering tension prevailing there, the CEO informed.

�We will take up necessary steps as and when the respective Presiding Officers submit their report to their ROs�, he said, adding while adding �so far there is no recommendation for repoll�.

The CEO further informed that there were cases of EVM errors in 10 to 13 places and replacement of three such machines.

The errors were subsequently rectified by experts, he said.

Besides, 16 EVMs that suffered minor technical snag today, 14 EVMs in the first phase and 22 others in the second phase have also suffered minor defects, the CEO recalled.

While some of the paramilitary forces deployed for the polls would be de-inducted, the remaining would be utilised during counting of the votes slated to begin on February 27, the CEO said.

As directed by the Election Commission, the district authorities of Chandel provided transportation facilities to voters of Khengjoi Block to enable them take part in the election process at the two polling stations specially arranged for them, the CEO said.

The villages under Khengjoi block that have 800 electorates were hit by the recent gun-battle between the security forces and the underground cadres.

According to the statement released by the Additional Chief Election Officer, minor group clashes have been reported in polling station nos.41/11, 14, 21, 2 and 42/5, 7, 14, 15, 24 and 27 of 2 ACs of Chandel district.

Further, due to technical snag, one EVM had been replaced in polling station no.41/31 polling of Chandel (2-ACs) whereas two EVMs have been replaced in polling stations 57/4 and 57/10 of Churachandpur (6-ACs).Our Moreh Correspondent adds: Election in the border town of Moreh under 42-Tengnoupal AC of Chandel district passed off peacefully with no untoward incidents from anywhere.

The polling was held from 7 am to 3 pm.

Border trade activities remained suspended and the market closed for the day today.

The polling percentage recorded in various polling stations are: 95 percent at 42/37 (Tribal Training Centre), 98.3 percent at 42/38 (Tribal Training Centre), 87.99 percent at 42/39 (Dr Colvin Singh), 86.36 percent at 42/40 (Dr Colvin School), 99.25 percent at 42/41 (New Bazar), 96.56 percent at 42/42 (Netaji English High School), 92.96 percent at 42/43 (Madrassa LP School), 99.06 percent at 42/44 (Madrassa LP School), 89.68 percent at 42/45 (Veterinary), 99.33 percent at 42/45 (All Community School), 94.21 percent at 42/47 (Eastern Shine School), 97.73 percent at 42/48 (Mount Moreh Public School), 94.53 percent at 42/50 (Moreh Govt High School) and 93.49 percent at 42/51 (Yaipha Thourang Thousillup Club).