BJP will win 30 of 38 seats in Manipur: CM Biren Singh

Singh said he was confident of being re-elected as the chief minister for a second term

Biren Singh
Manipur Chief Minister Biren Singh.

With voting underway for the first phase of the Manipur Assembly elections on Monday, Chief Minister N Biren Singh has exuded confidence that the BJP will win 30 of the 38 seats. Speaking to reporters after casting his vote at Heingang early on Monday morning, Singh said he will win 75 per cent of the votes in the constituency and be elected as the chief minister for a second term.

He said the BJP had a sturdy voter base in the Imphal Valley and the Kuki region. “This time we shall make it by ourselves,” Singh told reporters at the Srivan High School in Heingang.

Stating that AFSPA will not hinder the election, Singh said peace has prevailed in most of the areas barring a few bordering hill districts.

Also read: Polling begins for 38 seats in first phase of Manipur assembly elections

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Prominent candidates fighting the polls includes the chief minister, Assembly Speaker Y Khemchand Singh, Deputy Chief Minister and NPP candidate Yumnam Joykumar and Manipur Congress president N Lokesh Singh. Of the 38 seats, 10 constituencies are in Imphal East, 13 in Imphal West, six each in Bishnupur and Churachandpur, and three in Kangpokpi district. Manipur Chief Electoral Officer Rajesh Agarwal has said that out of the total 173 candidates, 39 have criminal antecedents. The BJP has fielded candidates in all the 38 seats, followed by Congress with 35 contestants, NPP with 27, JD (U) with 28, Shiv Sena with seven, RPI (Athawale) with six, LJP (Ram Vilas) with three, and Kuki National Assembly and Kuki Peoples Alliance with two each. Eighteen Independents are also in the fray.

As many as 6,884 polling personnel have been deployed for the exercise. Arrangements for webcasting are in place and micro-observers have been deployed at sensitive polling stations. Photo Voter Slip has been discontinued as identity proof and voters are required to produce documents approved by the Election Commission of India such as EPIC card, Aadhaar card, MNREGA job card, driving license and PAN card.

The BJP had formed the government in Manipur in 2017 with the support of the National Peoples Party (NPP), Naga Peoples Front (NPF), and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). However, the saffron party is contesting all the seats alone this time. The Congress has formed an alliance with CPI, CPI(M), Forward Bloc, RSP and Janata Dal (Secular). The grand old party had emerged as the single largest party winning 28 of the 60 seats in the 2017 state polls. The voting for the remaining 22 seats in the 60-member House will take place in the second phase on March 5 while the counting of votes will be held on March 10. All polling stations have been sanitised and circles have been marked outside the polling booths to enable the voters to maintain social distancing while they stand in a queue. Wearing masks, using hand sanitiser and conducting thermal screening are among the other COVID protocols to be carried out at the polling booths. Polling will end at 4 PM and COVID-19 patients can vote between 3 PM and 4 PM.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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