Elections round-up: Over 78 % voting in the first phase of Manipur polls

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NEW DELHI: The north-eastern state of Manipur witnessed high polling in the first phase of state assembly elections as over 78 % of voters exercised their right.

There were also some incidents of violence in the state.
Meanwhile, the ruling BJP and opposition parties continued to clash in Uttar Pradesh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought votes citing global conditions and suggested the people should take the decision to make the country stronger.
Here is a look at the key developments on Monday:
Manipur
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Stray incidents of violence marred the first phase of Manipur assembly elections to 38 constituencies as 78.03 per cent of around 12.09 lakh voters exercised their franchise till 5 PM when polling ended, an hour after the time announced earlier, officials said.
Naorem Ibochouba, a state police personnel deployed for poll duty in Tipaimukh assembly constituency in Churachandpur district, died in a “suspected case of accidental firing” from his service rifle, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Rajesh Agarwal said.
The highest voter turnout of 82.97 per cent was recorded in Kangpokpi district followed by Imphal West (82.19 per cent), Imphal East (76.64 per cent) and Churachandpur (74.45 per cent). The final percentage will be available after the return of the polling parties.
FIRs were registered in the incidents of EVM damage in seven polling stations, the CEO said.
Prominent candidates in the fray in the first phase include chief minister N Biren Singh, assembly speaker Y Khemchand Singh, deputy chief minister and NPP candidate Yumnam Joykumar and Manipur Congress president N Lokesh Singh.
Uttar Pradesh
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed that India must be made strong in view of emerging international challenges that were affecting every citizen of the world.
He said being a big state, Uttar Pradesh has a “biggest” responsibility in making India powerful.
His remarks at the Maharajganj rally come against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine from where India is trying evacuate thousands of its citizens.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah accused the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party of working on caste lines when in power in Uttar Pradesh, and said his BJP has worked for all communities in the state since 2017. Addressing an election meeting for party candidates in Kushinagar, Shah said free scooters will be given to girls and free tablet and smartphones to poor youths who want to pursue higher education if the BJP returns to power in Uttar Pradesh.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav claimed the BJP is hatching a conspiracy to end reservation and hence, is selling government organisations to the private sector. Addressing an election meeting in the Jalalpur assembly constituency, Yadav said his party will win all the seats of Ambedkarnagar as well as of the neighbouring Azamgarh district.
The Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) on Monday alleged that the Centre “betrayed” farmers while the Yogi Adityanath government’s promises remained unfulfilled as it urged the farming community of Purvanchal to “punish the BJP” in the Uttar Pradesh polls.
Punjab
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was on Monday brought back to Rohtak‘s Sunaria jail after his three-week furlough ended. The sect chief is serving a 20-year jail term for raping two women disciples at his ashram in Sirsa, where the ‘dera’ is headquartered. He was convicted by a special CBI court in Panchkula in August 2017.
Dear Sacha Sauda has thousands of followers across the state. Its influence also can affect results in elections, it is believed.
Uttarakhand
According to sources quoted by IANS, Congress MLAs from five states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab and Manipur might be shifted to Rajasthan fearing poaching. The newsagency referred to a meeting of top leaders and said post poll scenario was discussed.
Goa
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The Goa Congress said it will challenge a High Court order dismissing a petition in connection with the Speaker of the state Assembly rejecting a plea for disqualification of ten of its MLAs who crossed over to the BJP in 2019. The High Court had, last week, dismissed a petition filed by Goa Congress president Girish Chodankar challenging an order of the Speaker ruling out disqualification of the 10 ten MLAs.
Addressing a press conference, Chodankar told reporters the state executive committee of the party had resolved to challenge the High Court order.
(With inputs from agencies.)

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