Manipur polls 2017: An exceptional village gets a chance to vote thrice; leading to 1,000 extra voters!

IMPHAL, MARCH 11 2017: Twenty eight polling stations of the second phase are going for repolling today, all in remote areas in the hills where electoral malpractices were noticed by the Election Commission (EC).

Among many interesting events in the state, one polling station in the remote Saikul constituency in the newly created Kangpokpi district saw voting thrice this season.

Saikul, 60km away from Imphal, has 11 candidates in the fray – highest for any constituency in this poll. This tribal-reserved seat is dominated by the Kuki tribe, and went to polls on March 4 in the first phase.

“It is a crucial seat and we had ensured a tight security cover yet we found some malpractices and ordered a repoll,” Manipur’s Chief Electoral officer VK Dewangan told a media person.

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The repolling took place yesterday, but the BJP again filed a complaint against the Congress candidate for booth capturing and the EC after scrutiny ordered another repoll.

About 1,000 voters are voting for the third time today.

“People from remote areas have actively participated in the polls. The political parties are locked in a fierce battle in Saikul which has many heavyweight candidates this time,” said local journalist Kaybie Chongloi from Kangpokpi.

The EC had directed that the polling was to be held in the Saikul police station and not in the polling booth that was allegedly ‘rigged’ twice.

The Manipur assembly election 2017 has been unique in many ways. From peaceful polling amid a four-month long economic blockade, the BJP’s surge as a formidable opponent in this Congress stronghold to activist Irom Sharmila’s foray into politics and a high voter turnout in the two-phased polls for the 60-member assembly, Manipur is experiencing an exciting moment.

The first phase recorded 86.5 per cent polling, followed by 88 per cent in the second phase. Repolling at 34 booths in eight constituencies of the first phase yesterday stood at 89 per cent.

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