Manipur bypolls: 85.94 pc voting in four assembly seats till 4 pm

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(Eds: Updating turnout figure) Imphal, Nov 7 (PTI) Around 85.94 per cent of total 1.35 lakh voters exercised their franchise till 4 pm in by- elections to four assembly seats in Manipur on Saturday, amid tight security and strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocol, an Election Commission official said.

Polling is in progress and no untoward incident has been reported so far, he said.

An estimated 85.94 per cent electors cast their votes till 4 pm in 203 polling stations, the EC official said.

A total of 1,35,212 voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the bypolls to Lilong and Wangjing-Tentha seats in Thoubal district, Saitu in Kangpokpi and Wangoi in Imphal West, he said.

The electors will decide the fate of 11 candidates in 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, the official said adding that polling personnel have been provided with personal protection equipment (PPE).

Polling is scheduled to end at 5 pm, and counting of votes will be conducted on November 10. PTI COR BDC BDC