GUWAHATI: Eighty six per cent voter turnout was recorded in Wednesday’s second and final phase of Manipur elections even as six people were injured in a low-intensity blast that was triggered at an isolated place near Thangal bazaar in Imphal.
The State’s Director General of Police, LM Khaute, confirmed the blast but did not confirm the number of injured.
“It was a low-intensity blast. Some people could have been referred to hospitals. Our personnel reached the spot right after the incident, but did not find any injured persons there,” he told New Indian Express.
Khaute said stray incidents of violence were recorded on Wednesday, though he did not give details of the incident. The overall voter turnout in the last two elections in the State was around 80 per cent. The first phase polls on March 4 had recorded 86.5 per cent voter turnout.
“The voter turnout today (Wednesday) was 86 per cent. However, this was based on reports received from 75 per cent of the polling stations. We are likely to receive reports from the remaining polling stations by tomorrow (Thursday) evening. The figure will surely go up,” the State’s chief electoral officer Vivek Kumar Dewangan, told New Indian Express.
Asked about reports of damage caused to EVMs and attempts to capture booths, he said, “Some complaints have been received from the Naga-majority districts of Chandel, Ukhrul and Tamenglong districts. The complaints will be examined by returning officers in the presence of observers when polling parties return”.
The commission ordered re-polling at a polling booth in Phungyar constituency following the death of a booth level officer (BLO). The BLO, H Ramkating, who had sustained grievous injuries in an IED blast outside a polling station on Tuesday, succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday. Dewangan said the locals there could not turn up to cast votes due to mourning.
The Election Commission paid an ex-gratia of Rs 20 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased. The polling held on Wednesday will decide the fates of chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, his son Okram Surajkumar, iconic activist Irom Sharmila, deputy chief minister M Gaikhangam and BJP vice president Thokchom Jadumani Singh among others.