IMPHAL, June 2: The Imphal Municipal Corporation (IMC) elections 2016 except for a repoll in Ward No 14 passed off peacefully without any untoward incident with an impressive 82 percent voter turnout.
Repoll was announced for Polling Station No 14/8 at Moirangkhom Sougaijam Leirak in Yaiskul Assembly constituency following a controversy over of inner agents except for the Congress candidate.
Voting was brisk in the early hours in many polling stations which began at 8 am. However, due to the use of ballot papers for voting voters had to stand in long queues in the scorching sun.
Repoll would be conducted on June 4 while counting of votes is on June 6.
According to late night updates from the Directorate of Information and Public Relation office, poll percentage for Imphal West stands at 81.76% (overall) whereas Imphal East witnessed a 83.1 percent voter turnout.
Elections were held for the 20 municipal wards in Imphal West and seven in Imphal East, the first since IMC was upgraded to a Municipal Corporation.
Both Congress and the BJP had fielded 26 Councillor candidates each for the 27 wards, while the CPI has fielded five, LJP three, JD (U) one and 25 independent candidates.
Out of the 54 Ward Members to be elected, two seats have already been declared elected (uncontest). There are a total of 127 candidates in the poll fray for election of the remaining 92 Ward members.
There is no candidate from both the major parties at Ward No. 26 of Wangkhei in Imphal East district.
Among the Councillor candidates, there are 36 women candidates. Nine wards were already reserved for women.
Many voters including non-locals today came out to exercise their franchise amidst the “public curfew” imposed by the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System (JCILPS) in the Khwairamband Bazar area amidst heavy security cover.
JCILPS had imposed a14-hour ‘public curfew’ particularly in the heart of Imphal city namely Thangal Bazar and Paona Bazar from 4 am to 6 pm today with an intention to keep away non-locals from participating in the IMC election.
Security forces both state police and para military forces were seen deployed in good strength in the sensitive areas of Imphal including Mantripukhri, Nagamapal, Tellipati, Thangal and Paona bazar.
Police placed barricades in all the entry and exit points restricting movement of vehicle and outsiders in the Bazar area except for some exceptional cases.
Altogether four polling stations were open for Thangal Bazar at Bhairodan Maxwell Hindi High school.
Initial reports said that the poll percentage recorded in these polling stations are 55.4 percent voters turnout was recorded in polling station number 25/4 percent, 53.7 percent in polling station number 25/3, 53 percent in 25/5 and 57.56 in 25/10.
Speaking to IFP, a non-local voter at Thangal bazaar has said that he was satisfied with the voting process as he had cast his vote to elect his person of choice.
He further hoped that any candidate who wins as councillor or ward members will perform their work honestly with transparency for the welfare of the people.
Another voter R Prasad, after casting his vote at Johnstone High School, expressed his desire to continue to allow him to exercise his franchise in Imphal.
It is learnt that non-local voters particularly in Paona Bazaar initially hesitate to come out to vote due to the fear of the ‘public curfew’ of JCILPS. But, later they were reportedly convinced by the agents of candidates contesting in the areas to come out and vote.
It may be mentioned that at Thangal Bazar, poll percentage ar polling station 25/3 was recorded 53 percent, at 25/10 it was recorded 57.56 percent, at 25/4 it was recorded 55.4 percent, and at 25/5 it was recorded 53percent.
While in the Telepati area where 23/6 where only non-local people were sit as polling agent and it has recorded 90% polled.