Imphal: The high stakes electoral battle in Manipur will commence with voting on February 28 for 42 seats in the first phase where the BJP’s dominance since 2017 faces a challenge not only from a resurgent Congress, but also its own ‘allies’ – NPP and NPF.
Over 12.2 lakh voters will decide the fate of 173 candidates, including 15 women.
A total of 173 candidates, out of which 15 are women, are in the fray that include six in Imphal West, two in Imphal East, three in Bishnupur, three in Kangpokpi and one Churachandpur, said a senior officer of the Election Commission here on Friday.
The last date for filing of nomination for the Phase-II is over and total number of candidates who filed nomination is 96. Scrutiny of nominations will be taken up on 14 February. List of contesting candidates will be finalised after the last date of withdrawal on 16 February, said Md S Daulat Khan, Joint Electoral Officer, Manipur.
A detailed meeting of the Chief Electoral Officer, Manipur, with the Special Observers, all General Observers, Police Observers and Expenditure Observers was held at CEO’s Office on Thursday to review the Poll Preparedness.
The Observers revealed that they have visited some of the Polling Stations, have visited commissioning halls, strong rooms and counting halls and held meetings with the District Election Officers and Returning Officers. They expressed satisfaction at the overall preparedness and minor bottlenecks if any are brought to the notice of the concerned for necessary amendment.
Regarding Postal Ballots, Daulat Khan said at least 13,274 Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballots (ETPBs) have been transmitted on Friday, to the respective Record Offices for the Service Electors, for Phase-I.
For Phase-II, 8667 ETPBs will be transmitted to respective Record Offices on 17 February.
For Postal Ballots for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), 80+ electors and those from essential services, a total of 6024 have opted for it in the Phase-I.
At least, 2687 electors have opted for Postal Ballots under this category in Phase-II, totalling 8771, for both Phase-I & Phase-II combined. 195 (one hundred ninety five) polling teams have been constituted for both Phases, for getting these Postal Ballots casted, the Joint Chief Electoral Officer, Manipur said.