MANIPUR: Just as the Exit polls predicted, the ruling BJP appears to be headed for victory in the northeastern hill state of Manipur.
Fighting for 20 seats in the Manipur assembly, BJP is currently leading on 19 seats and has won 1 already. The Naga People’s Front (NPF) is leading on 7 seats and INC and NPEP leading with 3 and 4 seats respectively.
Assembly polls in Manipur were conducted in two phases on February 28 and March 5.
Of the big names, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh is currently leading by 2,598 votes in the Heingang constituency and former CM and Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh is leading in Thoubal by 1,225 votes.
Naga People’s Front (NPF) and JD(U) are likely to play crucial roles in the event if a coalition happens if no single party secures a majority.
BJP candidate Nemcha Kipgen on Thursday retained her seat in the Kangpokpi beating her nearest rival by a margin of 5,308 votes. Kipgen secured a total of 14,284 votes, while her rival JD-U candidate Soshim Gurung secured 8,976 votes. Former police officer Thounaojam Brinda, who left her service to contest from the Yaiskul Assembly seat in Imphal East, is currently in the third position with 3,650 votes in the fourth round. Sitting BJP MLA Th Satyabrata is leading in the constituency with 6,816 votes.
Trailing behind him is NPP candidate H Vikramjit Singh with 6,266 votes. Conrad Sangma’s National People’s Party (NPP) seems to be emerging as the dark knight in this election. Early trends indicate NPP is leading in 9 seats, including Konthoujam, Moirang, Uripok, Mao, Saikot, Tadubi, Tamei, Yaiskul, and Wangoi. This is a huge win for a small party. Although NPP is an ally of the BJP, their alliance has been unstable.
Previous elections in 2017 led to a shift in major power dynamics in the northeastern region. Though the INC had emerged as the single largest party as it won 28 seats in the 60-member house, with BJP gaining 21 seats and with the support from 4 MLAs each from the Naga People’s Front (NPF) and the National People’s Party (NPEP) and 1 from the Lok Janshakti Party and an independent candidate to reach the figure of 31 which was needed to form a government.
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