IMPHAL: The elections fever has gripped Manipur as it gears up for the 11th state assembly polls.
A total of 167 candidates of 17 political parties including the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Naga People's Front, All India Trinamool Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) besides others are in the fray.
Polling for the 60-member legislative assembly will be held in two phases on March 4 and March 8 respectively.
Kicking off the BJP’s campaign at Langjing Achouba ground in Imphal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to find a solution to economic blockade that has crippled life in the state for months now if the BJP is voted to power.
“BJP government will be formed in Manipur and once we come into power we won’t allow blockades to continue in the state. We promise that and we will show how the administration functions,” the Prime Minister said.
Ahead of the assembly polls, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi also addressed a rally at Hapta Kangjeibung in Imphal and said that his party would guide Manipur on the path of development and prosperity.
“O. Ibobi Singh is the Chief Minister of Manipur and he will take into consideration the views of the common people and run the administration smoothly and this will benefit the people of Manipur and the state as a whole,” Gandhi said.
Over the last six months, several smaller parties have also emerged on the political scene. Irom Sharmila’s People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) is one of the new parties.
“In a multi-cultural society living in hills and valley and in between hill and valley, there will be a very harmonious living together with understanding by connecting their hearts, to solve any problems by bringing real democracy in our state,” said activist and PRJA candidate Sharmila.
In wake of the polls, the Election Commission of India launched awareness campaign for the voters in Manipur.
“We launched our SVEEP campaign in the form of democracy event. On the event, election commissioner had coined the word ‘Festival of Democracy’ wherein all the stakeholders should participate in a festive mood either they are electors, political parties, candidates and officials. All of them should take it in the spirit of festival of democracy. That was the term the election commissioner coined it when he visited Manipur,” said Vivek Kumar Dewangan, Chief Electoral Officer, Manipur.
The election results will be announced on March 11.