Brisk voting in UP, Manipur registers 10% till 8AM

Congress rally in Punjab

While 57.03% of the population exercised their franchise in the sixth phase of the UP elections, which will decide the political fate of 49 assembly constituencies, 84% of the people spread across 38 constituencies cast their votes in the first phase of the Manipur polls.

The poll percentage for the valley can be treated as finalized as nearly all the polling officials have reached their respective district headquarters and reported to the DEOs.

Polling officially ended at 3 pm.

“Altogether 1,079 polling stations (out of 1,643) were covered with live web streaming to monitor activities inside polling stations while remaining 564 recorded offline by smartphones, ” CEO Dewangan added.

However, Irom Sharmila's PRJA candidate Erendro Leichombam attacked by unknown persons.

An elderly man being assisted to a polling station in Keirao Assembly Constituency in Imphal East district on Saturday, March 4.

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The second and final phase of polling is scheduled for March 8. Manipur is reeling under severe ethnic tension after the UNC imposed economic blockade on November 1 a year ago, protesting the state government's decision to create seven districts, 'dividing the Naga areas'. The first phase will cover 38 constituencies (out of total 60) for which 1,643 polling stations have been set up. Sharmila said she is confident of her party's victory in the elections, according to the ANI report.

Asking whether economic blockade will continue if the saffron party does not come to power in the state, the Chief Minister said, "Such remarks from him show that BJP, UNC, NSCN (IM) are working hand in glove". Manipur's political heavyweight and former Congress minister Phungzathang Tonsing, who had resigned from the grand old party, contested from Churachandpur constituency on the ticket of National People's Party (NPP) in the first phase of the state polls.

The anti-incumbency factor may give an edge to the BJP over the Congress in the ensuing State legislative Assembly election in Manipur. For the first phase, 280 companies of central armed police forces are being used. The districts going to the polls in the sixth phase are Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur, Deoria, Azamgarh, Mau and Ballia.

National People's Party (NPP), Trinamool Congress, Nationalist Congress Party, LokJana Shakti, Left parties and Independent candidates are also contesting in the first phase. Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency has 10 assembly seats, of which SP had won nine in 2012, but this time Mulayam has not addressed a single meeting in his parliamentary constituency.

The state is witnessing a three-cornered contest between the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance, the Congress and the new entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

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