The state of Manipur is all set to go to polls in two phases with the first phase involving 38 constituencies taking place on 4 March and the second phase involving 22 constituencies will take place on 8 March, the Election Commission of India announced on Wednesday.
The state of Manipur, which is currently governed by Congress under Ibobi Singh has been battling with a law and order situation due to a road blockade by some Naga groups. The blockade had started as a response to the Congress government to create seven new districts in Manipur, a decision opposed by the United Naga Council (UNC), which started the blockade.
Manipur has a total of 60 seats and is considered a powerful centre for Congress. However, the Bharatiya Janata Party is looking forward to putting up an impressive performance in this state assembly election.
Earlier, it had heavily criticised the Ibobi government for letting the situation get out of control.
The EC, which has been maintaining a close eye on the law and order situation in Manipur had earlier raised concern over the situation and has sought a report from the Union Home ministry on the same. The law and order situation, deployment of polling personnel, safety and electronic voting machines and strict implementation of the model code of conduct were some of the main concerns of the EC.
The EC had also said that it will make an independent assessment of the situation before announcing whether or not the state will go for a poll. The fact that it has announced the date, it means Manipur is all set to get the ball rolling.
The date for election changes a lot of things as Congress has been looking for an election date before March and BJP which had been pushing for an election date only after the blockade comes to an end.
The commission has taken several new initiatives for the upcoming assembly election including colourful voter guide along with electoral slip with information on poll booths, and necessary information for voters and parties.
Counting of votes will take place along with four other states on 11 March. The current term of the government comes to an end on 18 March.
Updated Date: Jan 04, 2017 20:55 PM