Manipur polls: 265 candidates, including 17 women, in fray for second phase
There will be a triangular contest in eight assembly constituencies – Thongju, Thangmeiband, Wangoi, Kangpokpi, Sagolband, Mayang Imphal, Moirang, Bishnupur and Tipaimukh
IMPHAL: Following the withdrawal and rejection of several candidatures, a total of 265 candidates, including 17 women, will contest the two-phase Manipur assembly elections.
In the first phase of polling on February 28, 173 candidates, including 15 women, will contest across 38 assembly constituencies in five districts, while in the second phase polling, 92 candidates, including two women, will contest from 22 assembly constituencies in six districts.
The first phase will decide the fate of chief minister N Biren Singh, deputy chief minister Y Joykumar and assembly speaker Y Khemchand, who are seeking re-election from Heingang, Uripok and Singjamei assembly constituencies, respectively.
Five current ministers are also in the fray in the first phase, including Th Biswajit (works) from Thongju, S Rajen (education) from Lamshang, Vungzagin Valte (tribal affairs) from Thanlon, Th Satyabrata (consumers affairs) from Yaiskul and O Lukhoi (agriculture) from Wangoi.
The second phase of polling will be a litmus test for former chief minister and Congress leader O Ibobi Singh, former deputy chief minister Gaikhangam, incumbent ministers Letpao Haokip (sports), Losii Dikho (public health engineering), Awangbow Newmai (forest) from Thoubal, Nungba, Tengnoupal, Mao and Tamei constituencies, respectively.
Former ministers Th Radheshyam (Heirok), K Ranjit (Sugnoo), M Okendra (Heirok), Md Nasir (Lilong), N Kayisii (Tadubi) and Francis Ngajokpa (Tadubi) are also seeking re-election.
The first phase polling is expected to be a straight contest between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and opposition Congress in three assembly seats, including the chief minister’s constituency. The other seats are Thanga and Nambol.
There will be triangular contest in eight assembly constituencies – Thongju, Thangmeiband, Wangoi, Kangpokpi, Sagolband, Mayang Imphal, Moirang, Bishnupur and Tipaimukh.
The second phase will also have a straight contest between the BJP and Naga People’s Front in Chandel constituency, while and BJP and Congress will face off in Nungba. There will be a triangular fight in five assembly seats of Khangabok, Wangjing-Tentha, Sugnoo, Mao and Ukhrul.
Sekmai, Saikul and Saikot assembly constituencies have eight candidates each, while Churachandpur, Khurai and Oinam have seven candidates each.
The ruling BJP has fielded 60 candidates, while the Congress has 54. The ruling coalition partners National People’s Party and Naga people’s Front have nominated 39 and 10, respectively. The Janata Dal (United) has also fielded 39 candidates while the Communist Party of India has 2. The Shiv Sena and the Republican Party of India are also in the fray in some constituencies.
It may be noted that 1,202,546 voters, including 624,447 women and 578,099 men will exercise their electoral rights in the first phase of polling, while 832,416 voters, including 425,192 women and 407,224 men will cast their ballots in the second phase. The results will be announced on March 10.