IMPHAL: The voters in the state have lined up today before the 2,357-polling stations in the nine districts of Manipur as assembly elections start in 60-assembly constituencies amid strong security. An electorate of 17,40,576, consisting of 8,82,23-woman voters, are allowed to exercise their franchise for choosing their representatives from among 279 candidates during the Assembly polls.
The incumbent Chief Minister of the state Okram Ibobi Singh, who is contesting for third term, has exercised his franchise at a polling station in Khangabok of Thoubal district.
Almost 350 companies of security personnel consisting of 270-central para military forces have been deployed apart from the state armed police.
An overall of 12,967-polling personnel have been deployed with the aim to conduct the elections which started at 7 am and it is scheduled to continue till 4 pm. A strict vigil is being maintained across the state on the security situation during the voting process to elect the 60-member Assembly.
The important candidates whose fate would be decided today consist of the Chief Minister who is contesting from Thoubal constituency, former Vice Chancellor of Manipur university Ng Bijoy and Forest Minister Th Debendra.
The state has got nine districts - Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishnnupur and Thoubal in the valley and Churachandpur, Ukhrul, Senapati, Tamenglong and Chandel in the hills.
Elections in Punjab and Uttarakhand are scheduled to be held on January 30 and in Goa on March 3, which is also the same day when the final phase of the seven-phased polls in UP is scheduled to conclude. The counting of votes will be taken up on March 6.