North-East sees high voter turnout

North-East sees high voter turnout

 Six parliamentary constituencies in four North-Eastern states went to polls in the second phase of elections for the 16th Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

The lone parliamentary constituency in Nagaland saw over 82 per cent turnout till 4 pm. About 70 per cent of voters in the Outer Manipur constituency in the neighbouring state cast votes by 4 pm. Arunachal Pradesh, where parliamentary and Assembly polls were held simultaneously, recorded a 71 per cent turnout. Nearly 64 per cent voters cast their votes by 5 pm in Shillong and Tura parliamentary constituencies of Meghalaya.

Officials of the Election Commission said that the turnout might go up in all four states, as voters were still in queues at polling stations till the latest report received at the poll panel’s headquarters in New Delhi.

Though no major untoward incident was reported in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland, the militants of a rebel organisation ambushed the convoy of the deputy speaker of Manipur’s legislative assembly, Presho Shimray, when he was returning to the state capital Imphal after casting his vote at Ukhrul in Outer Manipur constituency.

Shimray and his entourage had a narrow escape, although some of the vehicles were partially damaged when the militants had remotely detonated two bombs planted on the road. Manipur has only two parliamentary constituencies. While Outer Manipur went to polls on Wednesday, the voters of Inner Manipur constituency will exercise their franchise on April 17.

The Congress, which is in power in Manipur, fielded Thangso Baite in the Outer Manipur constituency. His prominent rivals include Soso Lorho of the Nagaland People’s Front (NPF). Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio is contesting as a candidate of the NPF for the lone Lok Sabha seat from Nagaland. He has against him K V Pusa of the Congress. Polling could not be held at Ladaigarh village in Longleng district of Nagaland on Wednesday.
The officials of Nagaland had gone to set up the polling station close to a disputed location on the state’s border with neighbouring Assam. But security forces of Assam stopped them claiming that the location was not a part of Nagaland.

The polling station at Ladaigarh has an electorate of 302 and is located at the government lower primary school, which has been occupied by the security forces of Assam.

D Momin of the Congress is challenging veteran politician and former Lok Sabha Speaker Purno A Sangma in the latter’s family pocket-borough Tura in Meghalaya. Congress’ sitting MP Vincent Pala is seeking re-election from Shillong constituency of the state.
DH News Service

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