Imphal: Voting for the by-elections to four assembly constituencies in Manipur is underway today (November 7, 2020) amid tight security and strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocol, an Election Commission official said.
Around 1.35 lakh voters are eligible to cast their votes in 203 polling stations in the by-elections to Lilong and Wangjing-Tentha seats in Thoubal district, Saitu in Kangpokpi and Wangoi in Imphal West. The voting in the four assembly constituencies commenced from 7 am.
Fate of 11 candidates will be decided in Manipur by-elections the four seats.
The by-elections were necessitated after Congress MLAs of the four constituencies had resigned from the state Legislative Assembly and also quit the party. They had joined the BJP.
The ruling BJP is contesting in three seats and supporting an independent candidate in Lilong assembly segment, while the opposition Congress is in the fray in all four constituencies.
The Wangoi assembly segment will witness an interesting battle as the National People’s Party (NPP), a coalition partner of the BJP-led government in the state, has fielded its candidate against the nominees of the Congress and the saffron camp.
All safety measures are in place as the voting is taking place in the midst of the raging COVID-19, said an official. “Sanitisation of electronic voting machines, wearing of masks and availability of thermal scanner, gloves and hand sanitiser have been ensured in each polling booth,” he said.
The social distancing between two persons is being maintained and a token system has been introduced to limit crowding at the polling stations, he added.
The official further informed that optional postal ballot facility has been provided for electors above 80 years of age, COVID-19 patients and voters quarantined at different centres.
Electors with COVID-19 related symptoms will be allowed to vote in the last hour of the poll. All polling personnel have been provided with personal protection equipment (PPE).
Polling will continue till 5 pm, and counting of votes will be conducted on November 10.
Meanwhile, Bihar is also voting for its final phase assembly election today in 78 seats.