Manipur assembly elections: Polling begins for 22 seats in second phase
Both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress have claimed to have an edge over others in the second phase polling of Manipur assembly elections.
IMPHAL: The second phase of polling for the 22 remaining seats in the 60-member Manipur assembly began on Saturday with both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress claiming to have an edge over others.
On the eve of polls, BJP Manipur president A Sharda Devi said the party will get a minimum of 15 seats out of the 22 seats according to their calculations as the party targets 40 plus seats in the assembly election.
On the contrary, Congress leaders said they will have a better position in the second phase polls. Congress Manipur in-charge, Bhakta Charan Das said they will get a minimum of 17 seats in the second phase elections.
A total of 92 candidates, including 2 women candidates, are contesting in the second phase of polling. The ruling BJP has fielded candidates in all 22 seats while the opposition Congress has 18 candidates. BJP ally, the National People’s Party has 11 candidates, the Janata Dal (United) and the Naga People’s Front have 10, the Communist Party of India (CPI) has one while there are 12 independent candidates in the fray.
A total of 8,38,730 electors including 4,10,020 males, 4,28,679 females and 31 transgender persons are eligible to vote at 1247 polling stations in 22 assembly constituencies spreading across 6 electoral districts-Thoubal,Chandel,Ukhrul, Senapati,Tamenglong and Jiribam.
Out of the total voters, 20,031 belong to the age group of 80+ years. There are also a total of 4,849 ‘persons with disability’ electors and 480 centenarian voters.
The second phase of polling will decide the fate of former chief minister O Ibobi Singh, his son Surjakumar, former deputy chief minister Gaikhangam, ministers Awangbow New Newmai, L Dikho, former minister Th Radheshyam, N Kayisii, M Okendra and K Ranjit who were seeking re-election from Thoubal, Khangabok, Nungba, Tamei, Mao, Heirok, Tadubi and Sugnoo assembly constituencies respectively.
In the 2017 assembly elections, the Congress bagged 12 seats out of these 22 seats, including 8 seats in Thoubal district alone. The BJP won just 3 seats while the NPF and the NPP secured 4 and 2 seats respectively.
The first phase polling was held on February 28 in 38 seats with a record voters’ turnout of 88 percent. The counting of votes in Manipur will take place on March 10, along with 4 other states -- Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Uttar Pradesh.