BJP retains power in Manipur for 2nd consecutive term

Imphal: In the northeastern region, after Assam, the BJP, securing absolute majority on its own, retained power in Manipur for the second consecutive term by winning 32 seats in the 60-member assembly.

According to the Election Commission’s announcement, the ruling BJP managed 37.83 per cent votes this time against 21 seats and 36.3 per cent votes in 2017, when the party came to power in the northeastern state first time in alliance with the four National People’s Party (NPP) MLAs, four Naga People’s Front (NPF) members, the lone Trinamool Congress MLA and an Independent member.

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s estranged ally Naga People’s Front (NPF), which won five seats, has indicated its support to the saffron party led government.

As per the Election Commission’s results, BJP’s another estranged ally NPP got seven seats, and Janata Dal (United) secured six, three independent candidates won their seats and the Kuki People’s Alliance, a local party, won two seats.

The main opposition Congress, which had become the single largest party in the 2017 assembly polls by securing 28 seats, won only five seats.

The Congress had secured 35.5 per cent votes in 2017 polls, but managed only 16.83 per cent votes this time.

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, who won from his traditional seat Heingang for the record 5th time, told the media that the BJP would form the government with the support of the smaller parties.

“In consultation with the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi), Home Minister (Amit Shah) and national party president (J.P. Nadda), the strategies and decision to make a coalition government would be decided,” the Chief Minister told the media after offering puja to Shri Shri Govindaji Temple accompanied by BJP’s spokesperson Sambit Patra.

BJP’s estranged ally NPP, which had won four seats five years ago, won seven seats this time emerging the second largest party in Manipur.

Headed by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, the NPP is the dominating party in the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government. BJP with two MLAs is also the partner of the MDA government.

This time, the BJP, NPP and NPF had contested the polls separately and had fielded candidates against each other.

Among the notable candidates, former ministers and BJP nominees Thokchom Radheshyam Singh (Heirok), Nemcha Kipgen (Kangpokpi) won their seats.

Former three time Chief Minister (2002-1917) and Congress veteran Okram Ibobi Singh (Thoubal), former speaker of the Manipur assembly Thokchom Lokeshwar Singh (Khundrakpam) and top Janata Dal (United) leader Khumukcham Joykisan Singh (Thangmeiband) are also won their seats.

Besides several senior Congress leaders, Ibobi’s son Okram Joy Singh lost his Langthabal seat to BJP candidate Karam Shyam.

Deputy Chief Minister and senior NPP leader Yumnam Joykumar Singh lost his Uripok seat to BJP candidate Khwairakpam Raghumani Singh by a margin of 909 votes.

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