Imphal June 2 (IANS) Civil body elections in 27 wards spread in the Imphal East and West districts ended on Thursday evening, amid tight security, with an estimated 80 per cent turnout reported.
In view of the boycott call, ban on non-locals from casting votes and public curfew, police tightened the security measures and no major incident was reported.
Turnout was only 35 per cent by late morning but picked up to 50 per cent in the afternoon.
There was a heated exchange between Congress legislator R.K. Imo and former lawmaker K. Loken inside the T.G. Higher secondary school campus following allegations that some Congress workers had impersonated voters. Workers and security guards allotted to them joined the brawl. However police managed to remove them from the spot.
In another incident, Congress workers had distributed leaflets with the name and symbol of the Congress candidate at the Thangmeiband ward. Protesting the incident, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Moiranghtem Ashwnikumar BJP said: “This illegal action only establishes how desperate the Congress is since the leaders know of the stunning defeat. BJP is lodging complaints with the election commission.”
Though the Joint Committee on Inner Line Permit System went out of the way to prevent the non-locals from casting votes, there was free voting in several wards. Besides many non-locals were also the inner election agents.
Police barricades were set-up and no vehicles were allowed in the wards where the non-locals stay. Only pedestrians were allowed to enter after being frisked and their identity established.
Police said that there were strict instructions not to prevent any Indian citizens from casting votes.
A total of 58 candidates were in fray for 27 councillors’ posts while 128 others were in the fray for the 54 ward development committee members. The electorate comprised 1,50,648 voters.