IMPHAL, Mar 4: Polling personnel detailed for duty on the first phase of the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly election have reached their respective polling stations.
Meanwhile, Chief Electoral Officer VK Dewangan has appealed to all the voters to exercise their right to adult franchise ethically without any sense of fear.
Adequate security measures have been taken up in and around all the 1643 polling stations where polling would be held from 7 am to 3 pm tomorrow.
For the first time in the electoral history of Manipur, 10 polling stations in Imphal West and six in Bishnupur would be exclusively man-ned by women officials.
Polling process in all polling stations would be webcast and for those polling stations where webcasting facility is not available, the entire process would be videographed. Due arrangements have been already made to enable cadres of SoO groups cast their votes through postal ballot papers. For the first time, VVPATs would be used in six Assembly segments namely; Yaiskul, Nambol, Thoubal, Khurai, Singjamei and Uripok.
The 168 candidates who are in fray in the first phase include 38 BJP candidates, 37 Congress candidates, four CPI candidates, two CPI-M candidates, 73 candidates of registered but unrecognised candidates and 14 independent candidates.
Altogether 5,44,050 male voters, 5,75,220 female voters, 5169 male service voters and 1915 female service voters are expected to exercise their right to adult franchise at 1643 polling stations spread across the 38 polling segments.
To cater to any emergency situation, an air ambulance (helicopter) has been kept on stand-by. For the two-phased Assembly election, Saikul has the highest number of candidates with 11 candidates in the fray. With two candidates each, Sekmai, Mayang Imphal, Nambol, Sugnu and Hiyanglam ACs have the lowest number of candidates. Out of the total 2794 polling stations, 529 have been categorised as sensitive while 837 have been listed in hyper-sensitive category. Mao AC has the highest number of electorates at 53,556 while Tipaimukh AC has the lowest with 17,758 voters. It has been already notified that votes would be counted on March 11.
Source: The Sangai Express