Preparations have been made for the by-election in four assembly constituencies in Manipur to be held on Saturday. The four constituencies which will go for the by-polls are Saitu, Lilong, Wangjing Tentha and Wangoi.
As many as 1,35,212 voters, including 66,807 male and 68,400 females, will exercise their franchise to seal the fate of 12 candidates in the fray. Of the total candidates, four are from INC, three BJP, three independents and one NPP.
Voting will begin at 7 am and conclude at 5 pm. Around 2,294 polling personnel including security will be used in 203 polling stations spread across the four constituencies.
On Friday, polling parties and security personnel reached their respective polling stations, office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Manipur said.
Options will be given for postal ballot for elderly persons above the age of 80, persons with disabilities and for quarantined persons. The CEO Manipur had announced to use the latest ‘mark-III’ electronic voting machine (EVM) and voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) procured from Assam and Mizoram and manufactured by ECI limited will be used for the first time.
If the body temperature of any voter is found above the normal in two readings, then the elector will be given token/ certificate to come and vote at last hour of poll. Adhering to COVID-19 preventive measures, electors with COVID-19 related symptoms will be allowed to vote in the last hour of the poll. Every polling personnel will be provided Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) kit.
Meanwhile for smooth conduct of the poll, L. Sujata Devi-database administrator of CEO office Manipur, informed that apps namely eAtlas, Traccar and BoothApp have been introduced for realtime monitoring of election related activities.
According to L. Sujata Devi, eAtlas will be implemented for election planning, monitoring and realtime decision making on Poll day using geospatial technology. It will help in monitoring the safe arrival of the poll personnel at the respective polling stations, to capture and instantly report for Incidents and alerts for EVM/VVPAT malfunction and realtime reporting which is made visible on eAtlas dashboard.
Traccar, an App with GPS is being installed to Sector Officers’ mobile for tracking, accessing and reporting the realtime locations on the Traccar Dashboard, she said.
Booth App will facilitate in faster identification of voters using encrypted QR code from the digital marked copy of the electors. This will reduce the queue, helps in faster polling and allows error-free recording of poll turn out without manual intervention, L. Sujata Devi asserted.
In all, 13 seats were lying vacant in Manipur after a political crisis gripped the state recently ahead of the concluded Rajya Sabha election. During the crisis, a handful of MLAs resigned and most of them were disqualified by Manipur Speaker under the anti-defection law.
To fill up the vacant seats, the ECI scheduled for by-polls in only five constituencies as court cases were pending in the remaining constituencies. Of the total five constituencies, BJP candidate Ginsuanhau Zou @ GS Haupu was elected unopposed from 60-Singhat after Independent candidate Chinlunthang withdrew his nomination. The counting of votes will be done on November 10.
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