Congress-BJP to have straight fight 5 ACs
IMPHAL, 23rd FEB: The ruling Congress and its arch rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which are in neck and neck competition for the upcoming Manipur Legislative Assembly polls slated for March 4 and 8 in two phases, will be having a straight fight in altogether 5 assembly constituencies out of the total 60. Both Congress and BJP are up in arms in almost all constituencies with exception to Kangpokpi AC where the Congress has not fielded any candidate. However, the two national parties have been pitted for straight fight in five assembly constituencies namely Sekmai, Mayang Imphal, Nambol, Hiyanglam and Sugnu.
In Sekmai AC, Congress candidate Khwairakpam Devendro will be contesting against BJP candidate Heikham Dingo. Mayang Imphal AC will witness BJP candidate Kongkham Robindro Singh rolling up his sleeves against Congress candidate Dr Khumukcham Ratankumar. Nambol AC will also witness the greatest fight of all time with BJP heavyweight and party election committee convener Thounajam Chaoba pitted against his arch rival Congress candidate Nameirakpam Loken.
While INC candidate Elangbam Dwijamani Singh will have another tough time with BJP candidate Dr Radheshyam Yumnam in Hiyanglam assembly constituency, Sugnu AC will witness yet another fierce battle between INC candidate Kangujam Ranjit and BJP’s Yumnam Jiban. With BJP at the top spot in term of fielding candidates by putting up its men in all 60 assembly constituencies, INC is at the second spot by fielding candidates in 59 constituencies leaving Kangpokpi AC untouched. Congress had earlier fielded one Khadga Tamang, a Nepali candidate in Kangpokpi but later reviewed the decision following strong pressures from JCILPS which has been spearheading the ILP campaign.
NPP has fielded 20 candidates, 17 for LJP, 16 for AITC, 15 for NPF, 14 for MNDF, 13 for NEIDP, 7 for NCP, 6 for CPI, 5 for MPP, 3 for PRJA and CPI (M), RPI(A) with 2 candidates each while MDPF, AIFB and PDA fielded one candidate each. There are altogether 23 Independent candidates in the contest making the total number of candidates in the fray to 266.
The first phase election on March 4 will have 168 candidates in 38 assembly constituencies trying their luck while another 98 candidates in the remaining 22 assembly constituencies will fight out in second phase election on March 8. Manipur has a total of 18,93,743 voters which constitutes 57.30% of the total population, out of which 9,68,312 are female while 9,25,431 are male voters.