GUWAHATI: Eighty four per cent voter turnout was recorded in the first of the two-phase Manipur elections on Saturday.
“The 84 per cent voter turnout was based on reports received from 72 per cent of the polling stations. We are yet to receive reports from the remaining 28 per cent polling stations and hence, the voter turnout will surely go up,” the State’s chief electoral officer Vivek Kumar Dewangan told Express.
The polling was by and large peaceful except one incident in which the miscreants beat up the People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) candidate Erendro Leichombam, who contested from Thangmeiband constituency.
According to the party, the Harvard-educated and former World Bank Fellow Leichombam, who also served in the United Nations Development Programme, was pulled out of his car and thrashed by the miscreants. They also reportedly pelted stones at his car. A complaint was lodged by Leichombam with the police.
“Earlier, we wanted to provide security to him (Leichombam) but he refused,” Dewangan said. The PRJA fielded three candidates, including Sharmila, and none of them were provided security.
The polling took place against the backdrop of an incident of bomb blast at the residence of a candidate of Naga People’s Front (NPF) on Thursday and clashes between the supporters of different political parties.
The two main players are ruling Congress, which has been in power since 2002, and a resurgent BJP. The BJP got emboldened following the defection of half a dozen Congress biggies, including three former ministers, to its side.
Altogether 22 constituencies will go to the second and final phase polls on March 8.