Re-polling Underway in Inner Manipur Amid Tight Security After Election Violence

Re-polling underway in Manipur amid security concerns after violence disrupted voting in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections. Congress alleges vote manipulation, BJP aims for 400 seats.

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Ayesha Mumtaz
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Re-polling Underway in Inner Manipur Amid Tight Security After Election Violence

Re-polling Underway in Inner Manipur Amid Tight Security After Election Violence

Re-polling began on Monday at 11 polling stations in the Inner Manipur Parliamentary constituency amid stringent security measures, following incidents of violence during the first phase of Lok Sabha elections on April 19. The Election Commission ordered the re-poll after reports of voter disruptions, mob violence, and booth captures at many polling places across the state.

The affected polling stations are located in the Khurai, Kshetrigao, Thongju, Uripok, and Konthoujam constituencies of Imphal East and Imphal West districts. Voters have been lining up since early morning to exercise their franchise. No disturbance or violence has been reported so far during the re-polling process.

The decision for fresh polling came after the Election Commission declared the voting held at these stations on April 19 null and void due to incidents of firing, intimidation, destruction of EVMs, and allegations of booth seizure. One civilian was injured in the violence.

Why this matters: The re-polling in Manipur highlights the challenges of conducting free and fair elections in regions affected by conflict and ethnic violence. Ensuring the safety and security of voters and poll officials is crucial for maintaining the democratic process.

Despite the unrest, Manipur recorded a high voter turnout of 72.17% in the first phase. The state has been embroiled in ethnic violence between the majority Meiteis and the tribal Kukis, with over 200 people killed and 50,000 displaced in the conflict. Security measures have been significantly enhanced to ensure safety during the fresh voting.

The Congress party claimed that voting had been manipulated and sought a repeat in 47 polling places in Manipur. Former Rajasthan CM and Congress leader Ashok Gehlot said the trend after the first phase was in favor of the Congress, and the BJP was now worried. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which is seeking a record third term under PM Narendra Modi, has set a target of winning 400 seats in the Lok Sabha Elections 2024.

Key Takeaways

  • Re-polling underway at 11 polling stations in Inner Manipur constituency due to violence.
  • Voting on April 19 declared null and void due to incidents of firing, intimidation, and booth seizure.
  • High voter turnout of 72.17% in the first phase despite ethnic violence in Manipur.
  • Congress claims voting manipulation, seeks repeat in 47 polling places; BJP targets 400 seats.
  • Ensuring voter and official safety is crucial for maintaining the democratic process.