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|October 4, 1999||
35 per cent vote in Outer Manipur despite Naga boycott call
An estimated 34.72 per cent of the 714,000 electorate in Outer Manipur voted today amidst a poll boycott call by Naga extremists.
The Inner Manipur Lok Sabha constituency had voted on September 25.
The turnout in Naga-inhabited areas was low, apparently in response to the boycott call issued by the Naga Hoho with active support from the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah).
Ballot papers and other polling stationery were snatched and destroyed in nine polling stations in Senapati district and seven in Churachandpur district, reports said.
Polling resumed in two booths in Churachandpur, but was suspended in 14 other stations in the two districts.
Reports said forcible voting by some people in three polling stations in Jiribam sub-division led to suspension of voting for some time.
The highest turnout was recorded in Churachandpur district (75 per cent), followed by Kangpokpi subdivision (70 per cent), Jiribam subdivision (48 per cent), Thoubal district (40 per cent), Tamenglong district (5 per cent) and Ukhrul district (2.16 per cent).
Senapati district witnessed the lowest polling, with only 0.11 per cent of the electorate voting.
A repoll was recommended to the Election Commission in more than 30 polling stations which witnessed disturbances, including the 14 where ballot papers were snatched.
Eleven candidates, including three independents, are in the fray. Foremost among them is Kim Gangte, who won the seat in 1998 as a member of the Communist Party of India. This time, she is contesting as a nominee of the Samata Party.
All major political parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress, the CPI, the Manipur State Congress (a major partner of the ruling coalition in the state) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, have fielded their candidates.
While the CPI's T S Gangte is supported by the CPI (Marxist), the Manipur People's Party and the Janata Dal (Secular), all other parties are contesting on their own.
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