All arrangements in place for bypolls to four assembly seats in Manipur: Official

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Imphal, Nov 6 (PTI) Adequate security forces have been deployed and all the COVID safety protocols are in place for smooth conduct of bypolls to four assembly constituencies in Manipur on Saturday, an Election Commission official said.

Sanitisation of electronic voting machines, wearing of masks and other protective gear by polling personnel and availability of thermal scanner and hand sanitiser will be ensured, state nodal officer Waikhom Phajaton Devi said.

The by-elections to Lilong and Wangjing-Tentha seats in Thoubal district, Saitu in Kangpokpi and Wangoi in Imphal West were necessitated after Congress MLAs from these constituencies had resigned from the Legislative Assembly and also quit the party. They had joined the BJP.

More than 1.35 lakh eligible voters will exercise their franchise in 203 polling booths and decide the fate of 11 candidates in four seats.

'We have appealed to people to follow the health safety guidelines and maintain social distancing norms as the voting is taking place in the midst of the raging COVID-19 pandemic,' Devi said.

Voters detected with symptoms of coronavirus infection would be asked to exercise their franchise only in the last hour of polling, the official said.

The ruling BJP is contesting in three seats and supporting an independent candidate in Lilong assembly segment, while the opposition Congress has fielded its candidates in all four constituencies.

The National People's Party (NPP), a coalition partner of BJP-led government in the state, is in the fray in Wangoi assembly seat.

Voting is scheduled from 7 am to 5 pm, and the counting will take place on November 10. PTI COR BDC BDC