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Elections in Manipur

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Very high turnout and low violence were the main features of today’s assembly elections in the state of Manipur, according to HT:

An 82% of the electorate on Saturday exercised their franchise in Manipur assembly elections marred by militants’ violence that claimed five lives and left two injured. Chief electoral officer PC Lawmkunga said as per preliminary official reports, 82% of the 17.40 lakh electorate cast votes but details from the nine districts in the state were yet to be received.

A CRPF man, three Village Volunteer Force personnel and a civilian were killed and two injured when miliants attacked an polling station in an interior area in Sugnu assembly constituency in Chandel district, official sources said.

However, Lawmkunga said a voter, his supporter and a security man were killed in an exchange of fire at the Dampi polling station in the district.

ET has a quick review of the electoral situation:

A coordination committee of seven major militant groups had called for a ban on all election meetings and campaigning by Congress candidates.

Congress and its partner CPI, which comprise the ruling Secular Progressive Front, fought separately. While Congress contested all the 60 seats, CPI did so in 24.

Trinamool Congress, which has one legislator and is an ally of Congress in West Bengal contested in 47 seats on its own.

Peoples Democratic Front, an opposition five-party alliance comprising Manipur Peoples Party, NCP, CPI-M, Janata Dal (U) and RJD, contested 43 seats.

BJP fielded candidates in 19 seats and Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP) in 34. Manipur unit of Nagaland-based party, Naga Peoples Front (NPF), contested in 12 constituencies in the hills.

The Hindu has a more detailed story on the politics of Manipur:

Thuingaleng Muivah

Thuingaleng Muivah

In 2007, [United Naga Council]-backed Independents won all the three seats in Ukhrul district, the home district of the general secretary of Naga underground outfit National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) Thuingaleng Muivah. Three years later when Mr Muivah wanted to visit his birthplace Somdal village in Ukhrul district in 2010, the Okram Ibobi Singh-led Congress coalition government refused to allow him to enter Manipur even though the Ministry of Home Affairs granted permission to the NSCN(IM) general secretary.

Ibobi’s tough stand leading to deployment of the Manipur Rifles at Mao gate and police firing on Naga protestors killing two sparked angry protests by several Naga groups. All this happened amidst an economic blockade called by the All Naga Students of Manipur along the two National Highways 39 and 53, the lifelines of Manipur, choking supply of essential goods. The ANSAM blockade was lifted after 68 days.

The blockade was called to oppose holding of Autonomus District Council (ADC) polls. The Ibobi government, however, went ahead and conducted the ADC polls after 20 years and the governance in the hills was transferred to elected representatives although Naga groups continued to denounce these bodies.

Okram Ibobi Singh

Okram Ibobi Singh

The ruling Congress justified holding the ADC polls saying the absence of elected district councils amounted to denying the hill people their right to local self-governance. Besides, development funds provided to ADCs could not be utilised if there were no elections.

The Congress hopes that apart from holding the ADC polls, the inauguration of a number of developmental projects, including three 33/11 KVA power sub-stations at Jessami, Tamei and Tousem, a 50-bed hospital at Senapati, a PHC building at Jessami, a Navodaya school building at Tamenglong and mini-secretariats at Tamenglong and Senapati by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram during his visit to Manipur in November 2-3, 2011 would help the ruling party.

Usually a large turnout means that the incumbent government is on its way out. We’ll know what it means in this case very soon.


Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

January 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm

3 Responses

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  1. […] the round of state elections in Manipur, it was Punjab and Uttarakhand. ET reports: Round-II of the Congress-NDA matchup concluded in […]

  2. […] the state elections in Manipur, Punjab and Uttarakhand, it is now the turn of the nation’s most populous state: UP. A […]

  3. […] spite of the huge voter turn out, Manipur was the dark horse, reports IE: It was an unexpected victory for the Congress in the 10th […]

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