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Municipal, Nagar panchayat polls in Manipur

By Correspondent

IMPHAL, Jan 11 - Elections to 18 Municipal Councils(MC) and eight Nagar Panchayats (NPs) across four valley districts of Imphal West, Imphal East, Thoubal and Bishnupur in Manipur passed off peacefully on Monday.

According to information received up to 2.30 pm, more than 60 per cent voters cast their votes in 587 polling stations, and the final voter turnout may go up to more than 70-80 per cent, sources here said. The polling concluded at 4 pm. However, the State Election Commission is yet to release the official polling percentage till the report goes to press.

As many as 279 MC councillors and 558 Ward Development Committee (WDC) members will be elected during the elections, the State Election Commission sources added. Nine Councillors (five Congress, one Lokjana Sakti Party and three independents and 162 Ward Members have been elected unopposed.

A total of 236 candidates are in the fray vying for the remaining 91 MC councillor seats and 309 candidates for 134 WDC members. Altogether 658 Councillor candidates and 1,042 WDC member candidates are contesting in the election. Apart from 280 independents, 16 CPI and nine LJP candidates, the ruling Congress has fielded 199 candidates with BJP following closely behind with 181.

BJP is expecting a better performance in the local body elections following their recent victory in Assembly bypolls. �We are expecting to win 10 MCs out of 18 and four NPs out of eight�, L Bashanta Sharma of BJP Manipur Pradesh said over phone.

The MC and NP which went to polls today include Samurou NP, Mayang Imphal MC, Lilong NP (Imphal West), Wangoi MC, Thongkhong Laxmi Bazar NP, Sekmai NP, Lamshang NP, Thoubal MC, Yairipok MC, Sikhong Sekmai MC, Heirok NP, Wangjing Lamding MC, Lilong MC (Thoubal), Kakching MC, Kakching Khunou MC, Sugnu MC, Nambol MC, Bishnupur MC, Ningthoukhong MC, Moirang MC, Kwakta MC and Kumbi MC. Counting of votes would take place on January 15.

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