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Over 76 per cent turnout recorded in remaining part of Outer Manipur LS seat, no incident reported

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Imphal, April 26: Over 76 per cent of the around 4.85 lakh voters on Friday exercised their franchise in the remaining part of the Outer Manipur Lok Sabha constituency, whose major part went to polls in the first phase on April 19, officials said on Friday.

Election and police officials separately said that no untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the tribal reserved constituency, spread across eight hilly districts – Ukhrul, Kamjong, Tamenglong, Noney, Senapati, Jiribam, Pherzawl, and Tengnoupal.

The officials said that despite scorching temperatures, voters, including women and the elderly, queued up at their respective polling stations before the voting started at 7 a.m. The balloting continued till 4 p.m.

Friday’s polling was held in the remaining 13 Assembly segments under the Outer Manipur parliamentary seat, where voting for the 15 other Assembly segments was held in the first phase on April 19 along with the Inner Manipur Lok Sabha seat.

According to election officials, around 4.85 lakh voters, including 2.46 lakh females, were eligible to exercise their franchise at 848 polling stations on Friday to decide the fate of four candidates. The voters, who are sheltered at relief camps due to the nearly yearlong ethnic violence in the state, exercised their franchise at nine special polling stations set up in the relief camps in three districts, an election official said.

While the state’s ruling BJP is contesting in the Inner Manipur seat, the party has extended its support to the Naga People’s Front (NPF) nominee Kachui Timothy Zimik, who replaced sitting MP Lorho S. Pfoze, in Outer Manipur.

The Congress-led INDIA bloc has fielded Alfred Kanngam S. Arthur.

Though two Independents — S. Kho John and Alyson Abonmai — are also contesting, the main contest is between Zimik and Arthur, both Nagas.

The Naga community has professed to remain neutral during the ethnic conflict between the Meiteis of the valley and the Kumi-Zomis of the hills. In view of the nearly yearlong ethnic violence, campaigning for the two Lok Sabha seats in the state was significantly subdued this time.

Incidents of firing, intimidation, and destruction of EVMs at some polling stations were reported and allegations of booth capturing were also made in the first phase of polling on April 19, when a turnout of 72 per cent was recorded in the Inner Manipur seat and 15 Assembly segments of Outer Manipur constituency.

IANS

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