Imphal, Feb 1 (IANS): The filing of nominations has begun for the Manipur Assembly elections' first phase on February 27 with the notification being issued on Tuesday, officials said.
Joint Chief Electoral Officer Ramananda Nongmeikapam said that the first phase will comprise 38 Assembly constituencies spread in five districts -- Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishnupur, Churachandpur and Kangpokpi -- in central and southern Manipur.
He said that with the issuance of the notifications by the Returning Officers on Tuesday, candidates can file their nominations from Tuesday itself, the last date is February 8 and the scrutiny of the papers would take place next day.
The last date for withdrawal of candidature is February 11.
The notification for the second phase of elections on March 3 in the remaining 22 Assembly constituencies would be issued on February 4.
The Joint CEO said that in view of Covid-19 pandemic, the Election Commission has allowed online filing of nominations through the Suvidha portal, though candidates can submit it in person but they can only be accompanied by two others.
A prospective candidate may submit nomination papers online and a print copy may be taken for submitting before the Returning Officer. The candidate may also deposit security money through online mode, or in cash to the Returning Officer.
A candidate can also seek permission for holding meeting, door to door campaigns through the online system, the official said,
Meanwhile, the Election Commission allowed physical public meetings of parties/candidates in designated open spaces with a maximum of 1,000 persons or 50 per cent of the capacity of the ground or the prescribed limit set by the authority concerned.
It has also enhanced the limit for door to door campaigns up to 20 persons, excluding security personnel.
Indoor meetings, with a maximum of 500 persons or 50 per cent of the capacity of the hall or the prescribed limit set by the authority, are also allowed.
The Commission, however, has continued to impose restrictions on road shows, Pad-yatras, cycle, bike, vehicle rallies and processions till February 11, Nongmeikapam added.
All the main political parties including the ruling BJP and its ally National People's Party (NPP) and the main opposition Congress have announced the names of the candidates for most of the assembly seats. The BJP, NPP and the Naga People's Front (NPF) had formed the coalition government after the 2017 assembly polls and though the alliance still exists, all three parties are contesting separately.