Fate of many political heavy weights sealed at Thoubal district
Source: The Sangai Express

Thoubal, February 08: Apart from minor altercations between party workers and breakdown of EVMs at some polling stations, elections in the ten Assembly segments of Thoubal district passed off peacefully today.

The fate of many political heavy weights including Chief Minister O Ibobi, Speaker Dr Maniruddin and MPP leader Dr Nimaichand Luwang were sealed today.

Despite the rain, voters slowly started trickling out to cast their votes from 7 am, armed with umbrellas and attired in rain coats.

As the rain petered out in the afternoon, voters in large drove came out to exercise their franchise rights, crowding the streets and roads.

Armed BSF personnel were deployed at all the polling stations of the 10 ACs.

However there were some minor hiccups in the arrangements and even late into evening some polling stations had recorded low turn outs.

The intervention of the DEO had to be sought following stand offs between the security personnel and the Presiding officers when the SF refused to allow the voters who had already lined up inside the polling booths to cast their votes after 3.30 pm.

The Presiding officers had decided to allow the voters to cast their votes as they had already turned up before 3.30 pm, but this was objected to by the security personnel.

Chief Minister O Ibobi who is contesting from Thoubal AC as well as Khangabok AC cast his first vote at polling station number 35/27, Athokpam Primary School at Khangabok AC at 7 am on the dot.

Polling was obviously brisk at this polling booth as 709 out of the 852 registered voters had cast their vote by 11.30 am.

The situation was different at the home polling station of MPP candidate L Jatra at Khangabok High School, 35/11, where only 387 out of the registered 1078 registered voters had exercised their franchise by 12.10 pm.

Voters could be seen waiting outside the gate of this polling station as the security personnel had closed it.

The EVM installed at the home polling station of MPP candidate at Wangkhem AC Dr Nimaichand Luwang developed some snags.

The polling station is 32/15 Yairipok Junior High School in Thoubal district.

The EVM was however soon replaced and voting resumed after the brief halt.

Voting at Thoubal Kshetri Leikai High School started only at 8 am due to the heavy rain.

The voting room was also plunged into total darkness.

Security personnel had to open one round of gunfire to control a mob which had gathered after a Congress agent was evicted from polling station 35/9, Khangabok Mayai Leikai Girls' High School.

Additional security was rushed in and voting proceeded under heavy security arrangements.

A fracas also broke out at polling station 35/6 at Khangabok after one polling official allegedly instructed an elderly man to put his seal on the Congress symbol.

Voting was delayed by about 30 minutes.