Day of reckoning for 77 candidates
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 07: Over six lakh voters will exercise their frachise rights tomorrow to decide the fate of 77 candidates spread across 19 Assembly Constituencies Thoubal, Senapati and Ukhrul districts.

Polling will start from 7 am and will wind up at 3.30 pm.

All necessary arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the election, said sources adding that polling officials have reached their destinations along with related poll material, including the electoral rolls as well as the Electronic Voting Machine.

The fate of many political heavy weights, including Chief Minister O Ibobi will be sealed tomorrow, when the voters decide who should represent them.

Ibobi is contesting simultaneously from Thoubal AC and Khangabok AC, which is his home turf.

The Congress has fielded candidates in all the 19 Assembly Constituencies while the MPP has nominated its men in eight ACs.

The MPP failed to nominate any candidate in the six ACs in Senapati district as well as in the three ACs of Ukhrul district.

At Thoubal too, the MPP has not fielded candidates in Lilong AC and Wabagai AC.

Leaving nothing to chance, the State Election Office has kept a helicopter on stand by to meet any eventuality.

All polling booths will be manned by armed Central security personnel.

For the record, there are 31 Independent candidates in the fray including the UNC sponsored men, three women candidates, five NCP candidates, five RJD nominees, four CPI candidates and two BJP candidates.

Campaigning for the first phase polling came to a close at 3.30 pm yesterday in line with the election code of conduct.

To enable the media cover the first phase election, the Directorate of Information and Public Relations has arranged three vehicles to transport reporters to the three districts.

The vehicles will leave for Ukhrul, Senapati and Thoubal ACs at 7 am from the office of the DIPR.

To neutralise any threat perception and ensure the smooth conduct of the election, security was beefed up at the three districts today.

Newmai News Network adds : Confusion reigned on as some unidentified persons reportedly circulated pamphlets in the name of UNC information and publicity secretary S Milan yesterday.

The pamphlets printed in Tangkhul dialect under the title, �Election Wui Maramli Tharkhami� were distributed in Ukhrul district yesterday with regard to the upcoming 9th Assembly Election.

The UNC said that it never issued such pamphlets.

Rather the UNC has appealed to all the Nagas to cast their votes only for the consensus independent candidates of the UNC.

The UNC strongly condemned the �satanic pamphlets� circulated by �irresponsible and senseless miscreants to create confusion in the minds of the Naga people aiming to sabotage the political aspiration of Naga dream,� said the UNC statement issued by S.Milan.It further stated that the Naga people represented by the United Naga Council (UNC) will never tolerate now and ever to such mischievous politicking that will divide the Nagas.

�The UNC seriously takes note of the circulation of the pamphlets for directly defying the reputation of the Naga body by adopting devilish method to meet ones� selfish ends keeping Naga aspiration at the back burner behind� blasted the UNC.

The UNC then stated that it will never spare the culprits and befitting reply will be awarded to �criminals�.

�Since day one the stand of the UNC is unchanged and our support to its consensus independent candidates is loud, clear and consistent.

The writings found in the pamphlets are all the creation of selfish individual for their own personal games and gains�, declared the UNC.

The UNC appeals the Naga public not to believe the concocted pamphlets mentioned in point-4 of the clause in particular but vote for UNC�s consensus independent candidates.