Imphal, March 11 2017: The fate of 210 candidates who are in fray for 60 constituencies in Manipur Assembly will be decided on Saturday. Vote counting began at 11 centres across the state at 8 am. The Congress has taken a lead in 16 seats, while its rival the BJP is leading on only eleven. Chief Minister Ibobi Singh is also leading over BJP’s Basanta Singh in Thoubal Assembly.
10.04: Human rights activist Irom Sharmila of PRJA is trailing behind by securing just 26 votes in Thoubal.
9.48: BJP’s heavy campaigning does not look to bear fruit, as trends show the saffron party leading in only 11 seats while its rival takes lead in 16.
9.36: The Congress leads in 10 seats while the BJP in 5. BJP has a small lead over Congress in Thangmeiband constituency.
9.19: Congress continues its dominance with leads in eight seats, while the BJP in 3. CM Ibobi Singh is still leading over BJP’s Basanta Singh in Thoubal Assembly.
9.09: Marking its prominence, Congress moves a bit ahead of BJP with leads at seven seats in Manipur.
9.04: Giving a tough fight to Congress in northeastern state, BJP now comes neck-to-neck with leads at two seats.
8.48: Congress fighting for it’s fourth term in state, Congress leads with two seat now; whereas BJP opens its account by leading at one seat.
8.34: As the saffron party is still to open an account, independent candidate takes lead following Congress in Manipur.
8.26: Minutes after counting of votes begun in Manipur, Congress opened its account as Okram Ibobi Singh leading from Thoubal constituency.
The exit polls for north eastern state have thrown up an uncertain mandate. C-Voter- India TV said the BJP would emerge as single largest bagging at least 28 seats, whereas Axis – India Today predicted Congress will retain power with full majority.
New entrant Irom Sharmila, who was on fast for 16 years to repeal AFSPA from the state, is fighting from 5 seats with newly lunched party Peoples’ Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA).
After success in Jammu and Kashmir and Assam, BJP is trying their luck in Manipur. The star campaigner for the state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi during election rallies had promised to break the economic blockade which state faces under the Congress regime.
Meanwhile, the incumbent chief minister Okram Ibiobi Singh will face a tough fight in his own Thoubal constituency against Irom Sharmila.
The entire state has been put under tight security blanket and prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC have been imposed near all counting halls, officials said.
Elections in the state were held in two phases on March 4 and 8. Both phases witnessed record voting of 84 and 89 per cent respectively.
Chief Electoral Officer V K Dewangan said despite logistical difficulties due to the ongoing economic blockade elections were completed smoothly.
Congress emerged as the lone giant in 2012 Manipur Assembly Polls and achieved a hat trick win by securing 42 of the 60 seats in the state. It was sweet victory for Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh as the party got 42.42 vote share.
All India Trinamool Congress came second with 7 seats and 17% vote share. BJP could not make a mark in the state and did not win a single seat.
In the 2014 general elections too, Congress reigned supreme and won both the seats in Manipur.
(Source: Asian Age)