IMPHAL, April 10 - The stage is set for polling in the Outer Manipur Parliamentary constituency in the first of the two-phase elections in Manipur. Polling will start from 7 am and end at 4 pm.
A total of 10,10,618 voters, including 4,95,583 men and 5,15,022 women, will exercise their franchise at 1,562 polling stations. There are 280 critical and 225 vulnerable stations located across 28 Assembly constituencies in 12 districts of the State.
The first-phase polling in Manipur, which is scheduled to elect an MP representing the hills and some portions of the valley, will decide the fate of eight candidates.
The candidates for the Outer Manipur constituency are H Shokhopao alias Benjamin Mate of the BJP, K James of the INC, Thangminlien Kipgen of the National People�s Party, Ashang Kashar of the North East India Development Party, Dr Lorho S Pfoze of the Naga People�s Front, Hangkhanpau of Janata Dal (U), Angam K Kom of the Nationalist Congress and Independent candidate Laikham Kaipu.
For the smooth conduct of the polls, polling personnel for 344 polling stations located at remote places had been sent from April 8 onwards. Most of them reached their destinations by travelling for not less than 2-3 days by using various forms of transport including boats. The authorities will provide transportation for 4,370 persons with disabilities for their participation in the voting process, according to Joint Chief Electoral Officer N Ramananda.
Interestingly, one polling station in Churachandpur district will be entirely manned by women polling personnel, while another by persons with disabilities in Imphal East district, the Joint CEO said.
�A total of 90 companies of the Central paramilitary forces will be deployed to conduct free and fair polling in the first phase,� he added. �Besides, a helicopter has been kept on stand-by for emergency services.�
It may be mentioned here that the Congress won the Outer Manipur Lok Sabha seat in 2014. In March 2017, the BJP formed its Government in the State after winning only 21 seats in the 60-member Manipur Assembly with the support of four MLAs each from the Naga People�s Front and the National People�s Party, besides the lone Lok Janshakti Party legislator. The Congress won 28 seats.