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Development could be first of its kind in any part of the country : Manipur to set up 300 all-women polling stations

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By Bhupen Goswami

Guwahati : Manipur will set up close to 300 all-women polling stations for the first time for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. The State will go to polls on April 11 and 18 to elect two Lok Sabha MPs. Interestingly, two Assembly constituencies – one each in Imphal East and Churachandpur districts – will be manned by only women poll personnel. State Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) PK Singh told reporters here today that this development could be perhaps the first of its kind in any part of the country. Stating that there are going to be close to 300 ‘all-women’ polling stations this time, the CEO informed that the total number of polling stations this time is 2,862. Out of this, 282 (227 in Outer Manipur constituency and 56 in Inner Manipur constituency) are critical and 225 (171 in Outer Manipur and 54 in Inner Manipur) are vulnerable.

 The total number of electors is 19,59,429, including 9,96,452 females and 9,62,932 males. There will be one model polling station in each Assembly constituency. Online live webcasting and static recording are proposed to be done in about 1,250 polling stations. As many as 90 companies of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs), which include 15 companies of the IRB from the State, will be deployed in the first phase of election in the Outer Manipur Parliamentary constituency. The Central forces include CRPF, BSF, SAP from Assam and Mizoram and RPF, he said. Besides, arrangements are being made for deploying three helicopters for post-poll airlifting of 124 polling parties, EVMs and VVPATs in Tamenglong, Churachandpur, Chandel and Ukhrul, he added. He said as per directions of the Election Commission (EC), the State election machinery has to provide special facilities for persons with disabilities (PwDs). A total of 7,699 PwDs have been marked on the e-roll and five vehicles per Assembly constituency will be provided for transportation of those PwDs. Additional CEO T Ranjit Singh, Joint CEO Ramananda Nongmeikapam and other officials were present during the press briefing. The CEO also informed that the EC has appointed four senior officers of the State Government as Accessibility Observers to assess the facilities at the polling stations and ensure proper facilities for PwDs. The deputy commissioners concerned will provide ramps in 665 polling stations where the facility is not available.

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