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BJP to contest all 60 seats in Manipur polls, rolls out candidates’ list

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

Guwahati: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday announced to contest all 60 seats in the upcoming Manipur assembly elections, while releasing a list of its candidates. At least 10 former Congress leaders among 16 MLAs who joined the BJP have got tickets in Manipur.

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Chief Minister N Biren Singh will seek re-election from his traditional seat in the Heingang constituency. Another key minister in Manipur, Biswajit Singh, will contest from Thongju seat, while former national footballer Somatai Saiza will contest from Ukhrul.

Earlier, BJP leader and Union minister Bhupender Yadav said the party will form a government with more than two/third majority in the northeastern state. The candidate was announced by Yadav along with BJP leader Sambit Patra at the party’s headquarters in Delhi.

In the 2017 state polls, the saffron party won 21 seats, but formed government with the help of smaller parties and independent MLAs. Of these, 19 MLAs have been given party tickets and two have been dropped, BJP sources added.

In Manipur, BJP has fielded only three women and one Muslim candidate. Former Manipur Congress chief who joined the BJP, Govindas Konthoujam, has also got a party ticket to contest the election. Most loyalists of the Chief Minister have got party tickets, BJP sources said.

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The three women are Nemcha Kipgen from Kangpokpi, SS Olish from Chandel, and Soraisam Kebi Devi from Naoriyapakhanglakpa. The BJP has also fielded three former Indian Administrative Service officers – Dinganglung Gangmei from Nungba, Yengkhom Surchandra Singh from Kakching, and Raghumani Singh from Uripok.

“BJP will contest all the 60 seats and will get a majority on its own. The Modi government has ensured that Manipur will get a stable government and will continue to ensure the development and peace of the region,” BJP’s Manipur election in-charge Bhupendra Yadav said.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance is in majority in the Manipur assembly. This includes 30 BJP MLAs, three MLAs from National People’s Party, four Naga People’s Front and three independents.

The Congress and five other political parties have announced a pre-poll alliance for the upcoming election. The other parties in the deal are the CPI, CPI (M), RSP, Janata Dal (S) and Forward Block.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Independent MLA Md Ashab Uddin resigned from the membership of Manipur polls. The MLA had been supporting the BJP-led coalition government in Manipur since its formation after 2017 assembly elections.

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The assembly election in the state will be held in two phases on February 27 and March 3 and results will be announced on March 10.

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