The greater Imphal area saw a large turnout of voters eager to exercise their universal suffrage right from the time the polling started, and is still continuing unabated. Contrary to initial apprehensions about this day, there have not been reports of any major disruptions in the polling process so far. The state government, anticipating attempts to disturb the normal polling activities from various quarters in the backdrop of the intensifying agitations for implementation of the Inner Line Permit system in the state by various civil organisations and students bodies, have already declared all 189 polling stations across the 20 wards of Imphal West District and 9 out of 66 polling stations in 7 wards across Imphal East as hyper-sensitive areas, 21 as sensitive and 36 as normal out of a total of 255 polling stations and appropriate security arrangements taken up with 945 polling personnel, around 1325 security personnel , 6 Sector Magistrate assigned duty in Imphal west and 330 polling personnel, 35 reserve will be manned in Imphal East. Seven armed and unarmed security personnel are being deployed for each polling station, including two women police.
The unexpectedly large turnout and the relative peace at the polling stations across the two valley districts have displayed the inherent trust and hope the people of the state still repose on the political system to bring about a positive change in their personal lives and the society. The matter-of-fact attitude by the public when it comes to exercising their voting rights have also driven home the point that given a fair opportunity, the public will take a peaceful and considered approach to airing their grievances and letting their complaints known rather than the alternatives which further disrupts and affects the laymen much more than the high ranking bureaucrats, politicians and officials who are well-ensconced and insulated from the destruction and mayhem purportedly carried out to disrupt their official activities. The toll on the public, and more significantly on the bleak prospects for the future generation cannot be stressed enough. The protracted method of using brute force and overwhelming with sheer number to press any issue forward may have worked on many counts. But there definitely has to be another way – an alternative that minimize the negative and harmful fallout of such collective emotional outbursts yet have a more profound impact on the issue, not for this instance alone, but as a means that will shift the focus on the efficacy rather than the sustainability of the issue which will set the trend for the future as well. Every individual under democracy has the right to protest, but when such protests and agitations usurps the individual freedoms or rights of another more than for those to whom such protests and agitations are being targeted at, then such a means would eventually prove to be the detrimental factor preventing the issue from reaching its logical conclusion. The state government and the representatives of the people being what they are, it is time to exercise restraint and follow the head rather than give in to the pent-up emotions and momentary impulses.