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Manipur polls: Why 3rd phase is difficult
February 17, 2007 22:38 IST
The third phase of the Manipur Assembly elections on February 23 will be the most difficult one, the state's chief electoral officer R R Rashmi said on Saturday.
Polling will be held in 12 constituencies that cover a large area in the hill districts of Churachandpur, Tamenglong, and Chandel to decide the fate of 76 candidates.
Rashmi said all 516 polling stations in the three districts had been declared as sensitive and the deployment of security forces had already begun.
Of the polling stations, 467 covered a large area and polling personnel would have to walk between 25 km and 30 km to reach about 100 of them.
Rashmi said in view of the logistical difficulties posed by the unfavourable terrain, electronic voting machines and other election materials will be airlifted to far-flung polling stations.
To avoid problems that occurred in the first two phases of the polls, all voters who reach polling stations by 3.30 pm, the deadline for close of voting, will be allowed to exercise their franchise.
The district administration will provide accommodation to the electorate of seven polling stations of Khengjoi range in Chandel district who were displaced from their homes due to counter-insurgency operations in the area. This is being done to enable them to vote at re-allocated polling stations in Leijang and Holenjang, he said.In the first phase on February 8, polls were held in 19 constituencies and 29 seats went to the polls in the second phase on February 14. The Manipur assembly has 60 seats.