Manipur Starts Phase 1 Polling For Two LS Seats Under Heavy Security Cover

(MENAFN- IANS) Imphal, April 19 (IANS) Polling for the two Lok Sabha seats in ethnic violence hit Manipur began on Friday morning under an unprecedented security arrangement.

Polling started at 7 a.m. in the entire Inner Manipur Lok Sabha seat and 15 of the 28 Assembly segments of the Outer Manipur (ST) parliamentary constituency.

Voting will be held in the remaining 13 Assembly segments of Outer Manipur (ST) seat in the second phase on April 26.

Over 15.44 lakh voters, including 8.02 lakh females, would decide the electoral fate of 10 candidates in the two Lok Sabha seats -- six in Inner Manipur and four in Outer Manipur (ST).

The main contest is expected between the BJP-Naga People's Front (NPF) alliance and the Congress-led INDIA bloc.

The ruling BJP has put up state's Education Minister Thounaojam Basanta Kumar Singh against Congress nominee Angomcha Bimol Akoijam in the Inner Manipur seat.

The ruling party extended support to its ally NPF nominee Kachui Timothy Zimik, who is contesting against Congress' Alfred Kanngam S. Arthur in the Outer Manipur (ST) seat.

The Election Commission has set up 85 special polling stations for the ethnic violence-affected displaced voters in seven districts -- Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishnupur, Thoubal, Kakching, Churachandpur and Kangpokpi districts.

A total of 18,091 Internally Displaced Voters, who are staying in the relief camps in seven districts, would exercise their franchise in their respective Special Polling Stations.

Over 8,000 polling personnel were deployed and all polling personnel reached their respective polling stations on Thursday.

Thousands of Central Armed Police Force and state security personnel including Manipur police commandos have been deployed to manage the security. Voting will continue till 4 p.m.



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