Poll for Inner Manipur seat on Apr 18

Correspondent IMPHAL, Apr 16 | Publish Date: 4/16/2019 12:23:52 PM IST


Campaigning came to an end at 4 pm on Tuesday for elections to Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency, voting for which will be held on April 18.

Manipur has two Parliamentary constituencies, of which polling in the Outer Manipur (ST) Parliamentary Constituency was already held on April 11 with high voter turnout.

The voting for the Inner Manipur PC will be held on Thursday (April 18) at 1300 polling stations spread over four valley districts covering 32 Assembly segments across the valley districts.

Fresh poll to as many as 19 polling stations of the Outer Manipur PC will also be held on the same day. An order regarding re-polling in these polling stations was issued today (Tuesday).

The 19 polling stations in which re-poll was ordered include 11 in Senapati district, four in Ukhrul district, three in Churachandpur district and one in Chandel district. The re-poll has been order after irregularities like casting of votes by a single person, casting above 100% votes, holding the voting at non-designated location, voting despite non function of VVPAT etc. were found during verification based on complaints lodged by contesting candidates and their agents and video footage of the polling process.

Meanwhile, the fate of eleven candidates in the fray in the  Inner Manipur PC  will be decided by a total of 9,28,626 voters which include 4,80,751 female, 4,47,843 male and 32 third genders. The constituency has 8,838 service voters.

Of the 11 candidates are in the fray, candidates of ruling BJP, Congress and CPI were considered to be strong contenders.

While Congress fighting to retain its seat is fielding new face (O Nabakishore, a former state chief secretary) by dropping its seating MP Dr T Meinya, the ruling BJP is fielding Dr RK Ranjan who had also contested election from the same PC in the last election in 2014.

Ranjan ended with third position by securing only 92,443 votes out of 6,40,871 votes casted. 

By securing 1,97,428, CPI candidate Dr M Nara Singh who is also in fray this time was in the second position. The Congress candidate Dr Meinya who had got a total of 2,92,102 voted defeated the CPI candidate.

Till the last minute of the campaigns, political parties and candidates tried their best to woo the voters. 

The ruling BJP concluded its campaign with a series of rallies in Imphal West district where its star campaigners including chief minister, in a bid to woo voters criticised the Congress for the problems being facing by the people of the state today. They also tried their best to get votes by highlighting achievement of BJP-led coalition government in its two years tenure.

Interestingly, the Congress concluded its election campaign with a grand party rally at Heingang in Imphal East district, the home constituency of incumbent chief minister N Biren Singh.

On the other hand, CPI concluded its election campaign with a road show on the streets touching all the four valley districts under Inner Manipur PC.

Thousands of supporters of CPI candidate Dr M Nara Singh took part in the road show in which leaders of other political parties supporting Dr Nara led the show. The road show kicked started from his residence at Singjamei in the early morning and covered various places across the Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency.

The CPI is in the electoral battle with “battle for existence of the indigenous people of the state” being its main poll plank. 

“It is a fight against the fascist regime, it is a fight for freedom of speech and expression and it is a fight for the protection of our culture, identity and land,” candidate Dr Nara said.

Dr Nara, the consensus candidate of left secular parties has also got the support of state units of Janata Dal (United) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) at the last minute. He claimed that he got the wish of NPP leader and Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma over telephone today.

Despite being the constituents of coalition government in the state, BJP and NPP have been engaging in a fierce battle of words during the entire election campaign in the state. NPP got the support of CPI to party candidate in the Outer Manipur PC in return for NPP extending its support to CPI in the Inner Manipur PC. 

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