North East

Violence in Manipur during Phase I of LS polls; low turnout in Mizoram

Other NE states witness peaceful voting on the first day of parliamentary elections

Imphal/Aizawl/Gangtok/Itanagar, April 19 (Agencies): The first phase of the Lok Sabha elections ended peacefully in the northeastern states, barring Manipur where reports of sporadic violence emerged.

Manipur, which has two parliamentary constituencies, will have another phase of polling. The first phase concluded at 4 pm on Friday with reports of firing, EVM snatching and violence. The state has been witnessing ethnic strife since May last year.


A person sustained bullet wounds at Moirang Kampu, Imphal East, when unidentified persons resorted to firing. At Thamnapokpi, Moirang some unidentified persons fired near the polling station which caused conflict and chaos.

At a polling station in Thongju, some persons destroyed the EVM alleging forcible casting of vote for a particular candidate by some armed persons. At Iroishemba, a mob destroyed the EVM after armed persons allegedly asked the Congress poll agents to go out from the polling station.

Voting began at 7 am with Chief Minister N Biren Singh casting his vote at Srivan Higher Secondary School Polling Station in Luwangshangbam Mamang Leikai. Former Chief Minister O Ibobi cast his vote at Thoubal. All the candidates also exercised their franchise at their polling stations.

People started coming out as voting began at 7 am and by 9 am, the turnout was 13.82% in Inner Manipur and 11.57% in Outer Manipur.

The poll percentage by 11 am was 29.61%. The percentages were 31.62 in Inner Manipur and 26.02 in Outer Manipur which went up to 49.44 and 41.49, respectively, by 1 pm. Poll percentage gradually increased to 67.71 in the Inner and 54.63 in the Outer.

Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh voted not only for the Lok Sabha but also for the respective Assemblies. Voting for lone Lok Sabha and 32 assembly seats in Sikkim was peaceful and as per the Election Commission, 68.06% of 4.64 lakh electorate exercised their franchise till 5 pm.

Fourteen candidates are in the fray for the lone Lok Sabha seat from the state. Sitting MP Indra Hang Subba seeking a reelection is among the main contenders besides former MP PD Rai, Gopal Chhetri of the Congress, BJP’s DC Nepal and Bharat Basnet (CAP-Sikkim). Apart from the two national-level political parties, the rest are regional entities.

Eight political parties are contesting for 32 assembly seats and the fate of 146 candidates is to be decided.

In Arunachal Pradesh, 8,92,694 voters will decide the fates of 133 candidates contesting in the 50 assembly constituencies and 14 in the two Lok Sabha constituencies. The major poll issues are infrastructure, such as road connectivity, and border area development.

Union Minister Kiren Rijiju is contesting against former Congress chief minister Nabam Tuki in Arunachal West Lok Sabha seat.

Mizoram witnessed a low voter turnout with only 52.62% till 5 pm. Despite the Election Department running extensive voter awareness campaigns, voters in the state appeared hesitant to elect their representative to the single Lok Sabha seat.

Historically, Mizoram has struggled with lower voter turnout during Lok Sabha elections compared to its Assembly counterparts despite the close timing of the elections. In response, the Election Department has launched proactive initiatives to raise awareness and encourage greater participation in the Lok Sabha polls.

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