84% turnout in Manipur 1st phase polls

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Official sources here said the actual percentage might exceed 80 as long queues were witnessed even after the stipulated time.

The polling will start at 0700 hrs and end at 1700 hrs.

Polling conducted under a tight security arrangement concluded at 3pm except in a few polling stations where the voting was delayed owing to certain problems, CEO said.

"We heard that there is an incident of attack on one of the party candidates, Erendro Leichombam".

Among the districts in valley areas, Imphal East district recorded a voter turnout of 87% while 86.9% in Imphal West district and Bishnupur district recorded 87.8%. Manipur is to see the second and last phase of elections for the remaining 22 Assembly constituencies in the State on March 8 when the seventh and final phase of elections for the remaining Assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will also take place.

The ruling Congress government will obviously aim to continue ruling in the state, but it seems all the opposition parties have made a decision to oust the Congress from Manipur.

There are over 1.72 crore electorate who will decide the fate of 635 candidates across seven districts in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

Only the Congress and BJP are locked in straight fight in three constituencies-Sekmai, Nambol and Mayang Imphal in the first round of the elections.

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 is also holding its first of the two-phase Assembly Election on Saturday. There were 17 Assembly constituency which had more than one woman candidate which went to the polls in UP on Saturday.

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav too is leaving no stone unturned and is preparing for a mega roadshow with Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in Varanasi. Another BJP partner Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party is contesting 3 seats. The districts going to the polls in the sixth phase are Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur, Deoria, Azamgarh, Mau and Ballia. The voting for this phase is to be held on 4 March.

Manipur elects at least three Muslim candidates to its Assembly every year, but the BJP has fielded only one candidate from the party, whereas the Congress has fielded three of them. 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.

Gorakhpur has a maximum of 127 candidates for nine seats while the minimum seven are contesting Mohammadabad Gohna seat in Mau.