Manipur elections 2017: Polling begins in final phase, big test for Irom Sharmila

Manipur: The second phase of polling will decide the political future of Human Rights activist Irom Sharmila who broke her 16- year fast last year and formed her own party named the ‘Peoples’ Resurgence and Justice Alliance’

By: Express Web Desk | Published: March 8, 2017 8:59 am
Phase two of Manipur elections are spread across ten districts. (File)

The final phase of polling for elections to the Manipur Assembly began at 7 am on Wednesday. The second phase covers 22 assembly constituencies which are spread across the valley districts of Thoubal and the hill districts of Ukhrul, Chandel, Tamenglong and Senapati. Polling is being held under tight security from seven in the morning till three in the afternoon. Ninety eight candidates are in the fray in the second and last polling phase of Manipur. CM Okram Ibodi Singh and Rights activist Irom Sharmila will contest elections against each other in Thobubal.

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The first phase of polling ended on March 4, covering 38 constituencies. It recorded a voter turnout of 84 per cent. The campaigning for second phase ended on Monday. Manipur CM Okram Ibobi Singh and his son Kenedy Singh cast their votes for the last phase of polling on Wednesday.

“We will get a clear mandate. This election is something like a referendum both hill and the valley,” Chief Minister Singh said told ANI after casting vote.

CM Okram Singh’s son who is contesting from the Khangabok constituency said to news agency ANI that he is sure and confident of their win in the elections.

The second phase of polling will decide the political future of Human Rights activist Irom Sharmila who broke her 16- year fast last year and formed her own party named the ‘Peoples’ Resurgence and Justice Alliance’ to fight the Assembly elections and is also a crucial test for the 15-year-old Congress regime.

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