Campaigning hots up in hill constituencies
Source: The Sangai Express

Tamei, February 12: Even as the valley constituencies gears up for the first phase poll, campaigning for the second phase poll on February 21 in the hill Assembly constituencies has been hotting up.

Central leaders who had been concentrating on the valley ACs have now turned their attention to the hill ACs.

Electioneering has reached new heights in Tamenglong district which has three ACs.

Union Minister of State for Agro and Rural Industries Kariya Munda campaigned for the BJP candidate Athuan Abonmai in Tamei AC which has the highest number of voters in the district.

A total of three candidates are in the fray in Tamei.

They are BJP's Athuan Abonmai, Samata Party's Lungsu Panmei and Congress' Z Mangaibou.

The constituency has a total electorate of 24953.Mangaibou defeated Athuan by a margin of 9000 votes in the last election.

The constituency made of Tamei and Tousem sub-division is inhabited by people of Liangmei, Zemi, Rongmei, Kuki and Chiru among others.

Mangaibou and Athuan are from Tamei sub-division while Lungsu Panmei is from Tousem.

Tamei sub-division has 12608 voters.

Mangaibou and Athuan are from the biggest tribe Liangmei.

The constituency has 12,000 Liangmei voters.

Zemi constitutes 5000 voters while Rongmei has 4000, Kuki 3000.The other voters are from the Napali, Chiru, Chothe and Kom tribes.

Mangaibou and Athuan are confident of sharing the Liangmei votes, Lungsu is expected to garner most of the Rongmei votes.

The Zemi votes are likely to be shared among all three.

Political observers said that the deciding factor will be the votes of the Kukis and other smaller tribes.

They said that Mangaibou's victory last time was ensured by the Kuki votes.

The Kukis together votes for just one candidate of their choice as they are the minority in the constituency.

However, it is still not clear which candidate they will support this time.

A teacher of the Liangmei High School told this reporter that 11 candidates fought it out in the last Assembly election.

However, it is hard to conclude who will win this time as only three candidates are in the fray.

Opining that all the three will have a square fight, he said the person winning the election is not a big matter to worry about but what the people want is their attention to the development of the region.

There has been no election related violence in the constituency till date and the teachers expressed confidence that none will come around.

On election expenditure of candidates, he said that the candidates spent very less this time.

As there is very less motorable road, there is little use for vehicles and publicity using loudspeakers is also not that prevalent.

Union Minister Kariya Munda addressed an election meeting at the Tamei helipad today.

Local organizations submitted several memoranda to the Union Minister regarding the development of the constituency.