Imphal, Jan 28: About 30 per cent of the 17.40 lakh voters exercised their franchise in the first three hours in Manipur legislative assembly elections on Saturday, officials said.
Long queues of enthusiastic voters were seen at many polling booths across the valley districts of Imphal East, Imphal West, Thoubal and Bishenpur with people waiting their turn on a sunny morning.
Official reports said hundreds of people were seen outside RDS High School in Wangkhei constituency in Imphal East district where former minister and senior Congress leader Yumkham Erabot is pitted against his arch rival O Henry of Manipur State Congress Party. Henry is nephew of Manipur chief minister O Ibobi Singh.
A large number of voters were seen at the playground of Wangkhei girls high school in Yaiskul constituency in Imphal East district as they could not find place to stand in the queue as they line was already too long.
Trinamool Congress nominee and former education director Hareswar Goswami faces his cousin Jayadev Sharma in the seat.
In Thoubal constituency in Thoubal district, where the Chief Minister crosses sword with his arch rival O Indira of BJP, brisk polling was reported from many polling stations.
In Thangmeiband seat in Imphal West district, where former chief minister and NCP chief Radhabinod Koijam faces former BJP chief M Bhorot Singh in a multi-cornered contest, heavy polling was reported from many polling stations.
Reports said turn out of women voters was much more at many polling stations in the valley districts.
In hill districts, polling was heavy at Kalapahar, Motbung and Kangpokpi in Kangpokpi constituency in Senapati district.
In some interior hill districts, polling at some booths was low because of cold weather, reports said adding turn out at Ukhrul was very low.
Official sources said so far no untoward incident was reported from any part of the state.
A helicopter was kept ready to meet any emergency situation, official sources said adding para-military forces were deployed at all the polling stations. Police and para-military forces were seen patrolling at many parts of the state particularly in valley districts to check movement of ultras who might disrupt the poll process.