Imphal, Jan.28 (ANI): Manipur's Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh on Saturday said that his party would return to power and form the government for a third consecutive time.
Voting began in 60 assembly constituencies amidst tight security arrangements and was being held at 2,357 polling booths, out of which 875 were categorized as hyper sensitive, 1325 as sensitive and the remaining 160 as normal.
Security was stepped up in the state with an aim to prevent any untoward situation as incidents of blasts had taken place recently.
According to media reports, around 350 companies of security personnel including the paramilitary forces were deployed along with the state police.
After casting his vote, Singh said it is upto the people to decide their representatives.
"No, definitely our party will definitely form the government, he said when asked about his electoral prospects.
When asked what he saw as the biggest challenge to his three-term rule, Singh evasively said: "Let us see, when the reason come out, let the people decide, let be ourselves, let them decide."
The main issue that was taken up by most of the political parties was the withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) 1958.
All major political parties have promised to withdraw the AFSPA, if voted to power, However Congress said it would withdraw the act only after the law and order situation improves.
AFSPA is a controversial law that gives government troops sweeping powers to arrest suspects without charge and give troops substantial immunity from prosecution.
The other major issues are regional, local and tribal clashes.
Manipur has been the epicentre of insurgency, violent protests, extremist attacks and separatism since decades, and anti-Indian sentiment still runs deep among many here.
It is among one of the five Indian states, where assembly polls are scheduled to take place between January 28 and March 03.
The other states where elections would take place are Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Punjab.
The result of the polls would be declared on March 6. (ANI)
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