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Cong sweeps Manipur civic polls
Correspondent IMPHAL, Jan 9:
Published on 9 Jan. 2011 11:40 PM IST
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The ruling Secular Progressive Front (SPF) swept the municipal elections in Manipur by winning 144 out of 279 total seats, while the main opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) trailed behind with 10 seats.
The opposition Manipur People Party (MPP) could manage eight seats while remaining 115 seats went to independent candidates. Two seats remained vacant as no candidate filed nomination to contest the election that was held on January 3.
With the counting of two Nagar Panchayats in Thoubal district completed on Sunday, the counting for all the 279 seats of the eight municipal councils and 18 Nagar Panchayats ended.
Out of total 115 seats in eight municipal bodies across four valley districts of Imphal West, Imphal East, Thoubal and Bishnupur, Congress won 62 seats. Three seats went to MPP and 44 seats to independent candidates while MPP won only three seats. No other parties could secure a single seat.
The Congress secured absolute majority in five municipal councils, Mayang Imphal MC of Imphal West district, Nambol, Ningthoukhong and Moirang MCs in Bishnupur district, Kakching MC in Thoubal district.
Interestingly, in Thoubal Municipal Council, the chief minister’s home constituency, Congress hardly managed to obtain absolute majority. Out of 18 seats, Congress won in nine. But no other party could secure a single seat as all the remaining nine seats went to Independent candidates. However, the party will form the council with support of some independent candidates, a confident local Congressman said when contacted.
The party also won in 72 out of 162 seats (leaving behind two seats where no election was held) in all the 18 Nagar Panchayats across the four valley districts. The party also managed absolute majority in 11. The party could not win a single seat in two nagar panchayats, Oinam Nagar Panchayat in Bishnupur district and Wangjing Lumding NP of Thoubal district.
On the other hand, independent candidates who won elections started joining the Congress no sooner the election results were declared. Nine independents in Thoubal district joined the Congress Sunday.
In this regard, BJP Manipur Pradesh came down heavily on the Congress before the elections stating the ruling party used money and muscle power, threatening intending candidates not to contest election as official nominee of other political parties in the civic poll.
The party strongly charged Congressmen of investing money to convince individuals to contest as Independent candidate to join the Congress after winning the elections.
The election to the eight municipal councils and 18 Nagar Panchayats were held on January 3 with a record 91.38 percent turn out of voters. The counting began Friday.
The election was the first if its kinds held under the Manipur Municipal (Community Participation) Act 2010 enacted in the state. However, election to Imphal Municipal Council was not held for reasons best known to the government.
The council has been kept under suspension for six month before the expiry of the current term as ordered by the government.

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