Repolling peaceful in Manipur; records 81.64% voter turnout

Incidents of firing, intimidation, destruction of EVMs at some polling stations and allegations of booth capturing were reported from conflict-hit Manipur

Updated - April 22, 2024 09:14 pm IST

Published - April 22, 2024 12:44 pm IST - Imphal

A woman, right, casts her vote during a re-polling in Imphal West District, Manipur on April 22, 2024.

A woman, right, casts her vote during a re-polling in Imphal West District, Manipur on April 22, 2024. | Photo Credit: AP

Eleven polling stations in Manipur’s valley area of the Inner Manipur constituency completed repolling on Monday evening, recording a voter turnout of 81.64% as of 5 p.m. 

These polling stations of the Inner Manipur constituency had voted on April 19 in the first phase of the Lok Sabha election but the Election Commission of India (EC) had called for a repoll at these stations after reports from poll officials of mob violence, riots, and proxy voting at as many as six of them. 

Repolling at these polling stations, spread across five Assembly constituencies of Uripok, Khurai, Kshetrigao, Thongju, and Konthoujam, was conducted peacefully, said Chief Electoral Officer of Manipur, Pradeep Kumar Jha. “It does not get any better than this,” he said. 

With this repolling, voting for the Inner Manipur constituency has now been completed. As of official figures released by the EC on April 19, Inner Manipur had recorded a voter turnout of around 76%, down from around 81% in the 2019 Lok Sabha election. 

Also read: Manipur Lok Sabha elections | Over 72% votes cast as violence mars polling; 3 arrested

Meanwhile, the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee sent a complaint to the Returning Officer of the Inner Manipur constituency and the Porompat Police Station, alleging that its polling agent at one of these polling stations had been threatened on a phone call. This is the same polling station near where a group of armed men had started firing their weapon on April 19, injuring at least one person, leading to the arrest of three people by the Manipur Police later that night.  

Manipur is voting in this Lok Sabha election in two phases just as it comes up on one year since the ethnic conflict between the valley-based Meitei people and the hills-based Scheduled Tribe Kuki-Zo people began on May 3, 2023. 

At least 220 people have been killed in the conflict so far, with thousands injured and tens of thousands of others internally displaced and currently living in relief camps. 

The ongoing tension in the State had forced political parties to mute their campaigns in the weeks before the polls.

On April 19, as Inner Manipur and parts of Outer Manipur voted, violence was reported from across the Inner Manipur area. Many videos from the day showed armed miscreants roaming around polling stations, in the presence of security personnel and voters complaining of proxy voting. 

The rest of Outer Manipur constituency, comprising 13 Assembly segments, mostly dominated by Naga tribes, is set to vote in the second phase of election on April 26. Election officials in Manipur said that in the second phase, voting will also be held at nine of the special polling booths set up for people displaced internally due to the ethnic conflict.

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