Updated 31 Jan 2022, 11:41 am
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will be contesting in all the 60 seats in the upcoming 12th Manipur State Assembly Election, the party said on Sunday as it released the names of the candidates amid heavy security measures, particularly in and around the party office in Imphal.
In the final list of 60 candidates, the BJP has not given tickets to three of its MLAs. The MLAs who were denied the tickets are senior legislator Y Irabot Singh of Wangkhei, P Saratchanra of Moirang and M Rameshwar Singh of Kakching; tickets were instead allotted to Congress turncoats.
While most of the new entrants from Congress and other parties made it to the list, some ticket aspirants within the party are left high and dry. Only three women candidates are on the list.
As per the final list, Chief Minister Biren Singh will be contesting from his traditional Heingang Assembly Constituency where he is the sitting MLA.
What is worth noting here is that Yumkham Erabot, the senior-most legislator and arch-rival of then Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, was the first to join the BJP in 2016. Erabot’s exit, as per political pundits, was the much-required move to materialise the Congress dissident plan and risk not willing to take by his fellow dissident lots back then. Only after the daring move of Irabot, the incumbent Chief Minister of Manipur, Nongthombam Biren joined the BJP along with Tadubi MLA Francis Ngajokpa.
However, the party has named Okram Henry Singh, nephew of former Chief Minister of Manipur Okram Ibobi Singh, in Wangkhei Assembly Constituency, and not Erabot, much to the angst of his followers and supporters.
In Moirang, the party has fielded former Congress MLA Moirangthem Prithiviraj and Yengkhom Surchandra Singh in Kakching.
Three women candidates who made it to the list are SS Olish from Chandel, Kangpokpi MLA Nemcha Kipgen and S Kebi Devi from Naoriyapakhanglakpa constituency. Kebi, a new entry into politics is contesting against former BJP MLA S Subashchandra Singh who was disqualified after he jumped ship to Congress.
The party has fielded Leitanthem Basanta Singh in Thoubal against former CM Okram Ibobi Singh. Basanta is the son of late politician Leitanthem Tomba. In Uripok, the party has fielded a retired bureaucrat Kh. Raghumani Singh against NPP MLA and deputy Chief Minister of Manipur Y Joykumar Singh.
Th Shyamkumar Singh, the first of the Congress turncoats to be disqualified, will contest from Andro constituency. Govindas Konthoujam, whom many believed to be a contender for CM face, will contest from Bishnupur.
Of the 20 seats in the hills, all the six BJP MLAs, including the new entrants got the tickets. In Nungba, the party has fielded a retired IAS officer Dinganglung Gonmei against veteran Congress leader Gaikhangam in Nungba. In Henglep and Tamenglong, which are lying vacant after two of BJP’s MLAs were disqualified under anti-defection, the party has fielded new faces, including a retired forest officer Huri Golmei. Minister Letpao Haokip, who abandoned his Chandel constituency, will be contesting from Tengnoupal.
First published:30 Jan 2022, 6:33 pm
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