Political parties in Manipur on Wednesday welcomed the announcement of two-phase Manipur polls by the Election Commission of India (ECI) to be conducted on March 4 and March 8.
The Manipur unit BJP general secretary Nongthombam Nimbus told Newmai News Network that the party welcomed the poll announcement. He appealed to all sections to maintain calm and sanity amidst the present volatile and sensitive situation in poll-bound Manipur.
Nimbus called for a free and fair election and appealed to all communities to ensure smooth conduct of the polls. The ECI announced the polling dates on Wednesday. The BJP leader informed that form distribution to party ticket seekers will be done shortly after a joint meeting of the party office bearers and core committee. This, he said, will be decided after party president Khetrimayum Bhabananda Singh, now in New Delhi, returns from Delhi on January 8.
Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) media department chairman L Memo Singh told Newmai News Network this evening that MPCC welcomed the decision of Election Commission of India (ECI). “The Centre’s decision is very historic for the state of Manipur in this crucial hour. The poll announcement and its timing are very much welcome,” Memo said.
MPCC has extended its last date of submission of forms by party ticket seekers till January 31. Irom Sharmila headed Peoples Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) co-convenor James Mayengbam also expressed happiness at the announcement of Manipur poll dates. PRJA, a new political party, was recently floated under the leadership of rights activist Irom Sharmila who fasted for 16 long years demanding repeal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).
James reiterated the decision of Sharmila to join the upcoming fray from Thoubal, the home turf of incumbent Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh. She has already announced her decision to fight against the three-time Congress Chief Minister Ibobi of Manipur in the forthcoming polls and carry on her movement against the military Act.
The PRJA leader also informed that the party has already registered with the ECI. He said that the party has confirmed at least five aspiring candidates to be contested in the polls. “Candidates will be fielded from Thoubal, Wabagai, Thangmeiband, Lilong and 47-Karong. We’re also expecting more aspiring candidates from Heingang, Tengnoupal and Moirang,” he said.
Meanwhile, following announcement of the election notification, the model code of conduct in Manipur has come into force from 12:53 pm on Wednesday.
In the first phase of the 11th state assembly election, altogether 38 assembly segments will go to the polls on March 4. Filing of nomination will be done on February 15, scrutiny on February 16 and withdrawal of nomination on February 18 for the first phase of polls. For the phase two, nomination will be on February 18, scrutiny on February 20 and withdrawal of nomination on 22 February.