Imphal: Manipur goes to polls on Saturday in
the shadow of bomb attacks by militants to mark the start of
crucial Assembly elections in five states including Uttar
Pradesh and Punjab.
Authorities are keeping a close watch on the security
situation in this North-Eastern state during voting to elect
the 60-member Assembly amid reports that some insurgent groups
might disrupt polling at some places. A total of 279
candidates are in the fray to enter the 10th Assembly.
Official sources said today that only central
para-military personnel would be deployed at the polling
stations where no state security personnel would be present.
But if required, state personnel would join the central
forces in manning the polling stations, the sources said.
Elections in Punjab and Uttarakhand will be held on
January 30 and in Goa on March 3, the same day when the final
phase of the seven-phased polls in UP will end. Counting of
votes is due to be taken up on March 6.
A majority of the polling and security personnel have
reached polling stations across Manipur, the election office
said. In Imphal East and Imphal West districts, they would
reach by tonight.
There would be 12,967 polling personnel to conduct the
voting at 2,357 polling stations. The polling would begin at
seven am and end at four pm, the election office said.
An electorate of 17,40,576 voters including 8,82,236
female voters are eligible to exercise their franchise.
Reports reaching the state capital indicated that
insurgent organisations might target some poll candidates as
there have been a spate of blasts in the past few days.
Only this morning a person was injured when militants
exploded a bomb at the house of a former Manipur government
official at Thangmeiband in Imphal West district.
Official sources said the militants lobbed the bomb at
the house of Bilasini Devi, a doctor, whose husband had
contested the last elections.
Militants also exploded a powerful bomb in the capital
complex here on the Republic Day yesterday, but no casualty
They exploded two powerful bombs at Kakwa in Imphal West
district on January 25 night.