South Asia

India to rerun elections at 11 polling stations in Manipur following violence

NEW DELHI — India will rerun elections at 11 polling stations in the northeastern state of Manipur on Monday after reports of violence and damage to voting machines, the country’s election authorities announced. The decision follows months of ethnic clashes in the state.

The Chief Electoral Officer of Manipur issued a statement late Saturday declaring the initial voting at these locations void and ordering a new poll.

Voting began Friday in India, where nearly one billion people are participating in the world’s largest election, which will continue through June 1. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is favored to secure a rare third term, propelled by issues such as economic growth, welfare programs, and Hindu nationalism.

The main opposition Congress party has called for a rerun at 47 polling stations in Manipur, claiming electoral fraud and booth capturing.

On Friday, the state witnessed scattered violence, including clashes between armed groups and attempts to storm polling stations, despite heightened security. The ongoing conflict has led to significant voter turnout even amidst ongoing ethnic tensions that have resulted in at least 220 deaths over the past year.

Manipur remains sharply divided between the majority Meitei community in the valleys and the tribal Kuki-Zo people in the hills, with a heavily monitored no-man’s land separating the two areas.