IMPHAL, November 21: With much anticipation and speculation, bye-election in Thangmeiband and Thongju Assembly Constituencies was conducted today with no reports of any major untoward incidents.
In Thangmeiband constituency, 89.5 percent of voter turnout was recorded while Thongju constituency witnessed 88.8 percent voter turnout.
However, re-poll will be conducted in 5/25 polling station of Thongju Assembly Constituency due to error in EVM voting machine.
An estimate of 26, 537 voters of Thangmeiband Constituency cast vote in 41 polling booths while around 28, 214 voters of Thongju Constituency exercised their franchise in 45 polling booths to decide the fate of five candidates.
The by-election in both the constituencies began at 7 am and continued till 4 pm amidst tight security.
Jyotin Waikhom fought from INC ticket in Thangmeiband constituency while Khumukcham Joykishan stood from BJP ticket.
In Thongju Assembly Constituency, Bijoy Koijam fought from INC candidate while Thongam Bishwajit fought from BJP ticket.
G Tonsana Sharma of Manipur Democratic Peoples’ Front (MDPF) contested in both the assembly segments.
The by-election in the two constituencies went peacefully though some minor incidents mainly argument at the time of casting vote occurred in few polling stations.
At around 1.10 pm, the EVM machine at 5/25 polling station at Torban Kshetri Leikai Primary School of Thongju Assembly Constituency encountered technical error in the machine during casting of vote.
While voting the total number of voter and vote recorded in the EVM machine was found unmatched with a differentiation of 13 voters.
Though a total of 501 voters out of the total 967 voters registered in the polling booth exercised their franchise, the EVM machine registered a total of 513 voters.
Sensing the inaccuracy, voting in the polling station was halted. Later, DC Imphal East M Joy along with RO arrived and decided to conduct re-poll in the polling booth.
Speaking to media persons after the poll, DC Imphal East clarified that voting in the polling vote was made to halt due to technical error in the EVM machine.
He said that a report regarding the error in the voting machine will be conveyed to Election Commission of India (ECI) and need for re-poll in the polling booth thereof.
BJP candidate Thongam Bishwajit talking about the error in the voting machine said that the error might have occurred due to voters pressing the voting button repeatedly intentionally or unintentionally.
He exuded confidence that voters will be voting for him for the sake of development in the constituency with the belief that BJP is the only party which can fulfil people’s expectation.
He further said that the decision to conduct re-poll in the polling booth was arrived after thorough discussion amongst DEO, ARO, RO and DC Imphal East.
INC candidate of Thangmeiband Constituency Joytin Waikhom asserted that he is committed to bringing notable development and welfare in his constituency as the Congress party is ruling in the State.
BJP candidate Joykisan said that he decided to contest in the by-election with the firm aim to bring drastic change in the constituency.
The Congress has completely neglected development in the constituency despite of many years of ruling in the State. So far, no MLA has shown courage to meet expectation of people in the constituency, he said.