Mixed bag at Ukhrul on polling day
Source: The Sangai Express

Ukhrul, February 08: Though the first phase polling at Ukhrul district passed off peacefully by and large today, there were some interesting developments at Chingai AC and Phungyar AC.

Unprecedented it may sound, but voting had to be put off at polling station number 45/39 at Chingai Assembly Constituency as no polling agent turned up.

The voters nonetheless turned out to cast their votes but as no polling agents were in sight, they decided to return home without casting their votes.

At Phungyar Assembly Constituency, unidentified miscreants damaged the EVMs installed at polling station number 43/23 at Mawai Junior High School.

The site is located about 180 kms from Ukhrul headquarters near the international border.

The Ukhrul DC has instructed the police to find out how the miscreants struck despite the fact that the polling station was guarded by three CRPF Sections.

The EVM machine installed at 44/5 Mullam Primary School at Phungyar AC developed some snags and had to be replaced.

Perhaps for the first time in the election history of Ukhrul Assembly Constituency polling day belonged to the voters, thanks to the stringent security arrangements as well as the updated technology employed by the Election Commission of India.

Though there was a minor alteration with regard to the voters identity, with the voters being allowed to cast their vote if they were identified by the polling agents, a number of voters informed that they were able to cast their votes for the candidate of their choice.

The heavy rain did not deter the voters from coming to cast their votes as polling official deputed for duty at 44/13 at the Lambui Junior High School informed this reporter that voters, who did not have their ID cards but were identified by the polling agents were allowed to cast their votes.

The leeway was allowed after due consultation with the DEO, as it came to light that some of the villagers had no driving license, no income tax certificate or school ID card to prove their identities.

The DEO Pankaj Kumar said that since the ID documents specified by the ECI were not available to all the villagers, the task of identifying the voters was given to the polling agents.

A woman who had just cast her vote informed this reporter that for the first time, she cast her vote through the EVM.

Her photo was also taken, she informed and added that arrangements taken ensured that she was able to vote for the candidate of her choice.

One 39 yr old Awon Mary of Ukhrul AC said that it was for the first time that she was able to cast her vote.

Earlier, her name was not included in the electoral roll.

With Central para-military force on strict vigil at all the polling stations, nothing untoward was witnessed at Ukhrul AC today.

The security personnel strictly checked all the index fingers of the voter to check proxy or double voting.

With the rain petering out in the afternoon, many voters could be seen lining up outside the polling booths to exercise their franchise rights.

Telephones and communication equipment were kept at all the polling stations and all voters had their photographs taken before casting their votes to check impersonation as well as proxy voting.