153 in fray for second phase polling
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 31: The total number of candidates left for the second phase polling on February 14 has been trimmed to 153 after eight withdrew their candidatures today - the last day of opting out of the polls.

Those who withdrew from the race today are Abujam Shidam meetei (Khundrakpam/Ind), md Abdulla (Keirao/SP), Thounaojam babita (Andro/Ind), Pukhrambam Tomba Singh (Keishamthong/Ind), Potsangbam Ibohal (Singjamei/JD-S), Elangbam Joychandra Singh (Yaiskul/JD-S), Wahidur Rahaman (Wangkhei/Ind) and Khangembam Amirta Singh (Kumbi/RJD).

Despite Shidam�s withdrawal Khundrakpam remains the AC with the most number of candidates for the second phase with 12 aspirants in the fray.

Keirao will now have five contestants after Abdulla pulled out while Andro is left with six candidates and Keishamthong set for a tri-corner contest.

Regarding Singjamei AC, five candidates will vie fight it out for a place in the Assembly, compared to four in Yaiskul who are seeking the blessings of the voters.

Wangkhei and Kumbi ACs are left with six each.

The second phase polling will witness the electorates of Imphal West, Imphal East (with the exception of Jiribam) and Bishnupur districts cast votes to elect representatives of 29 Assembly Constituencies.

As per election notification issued by relevant offices, nominations were filed within january 27 with the scrutiny conducted two days later and today was the last date for withdrawal of candidature.

Meanwhile, nominations were filed today by 13 aspirants for the third phase polling to be held on February 23 covering 12 Assembly segments and spread across Tamenglong, Churachandpur and Chandel districts as well as Jiribam sub-division.

While no candidate, as per information provided by respective ROs, filed in Tamei, Nungba, Tipaimukh, Singhat and Chandel ACs on the first day of the nomination date today, Thanlon AC in Churachandpur district had maximum entry with three.

The three include jabiaksang as a BJP candidate, N Zatawn entering the fray as an RJD nominee and Songlienlal affirming his candidature as NCP man.

Others who filed nominations are Digao Pamei (Independent) and Jangamlung (INC) for Tamenglong AC with the latter filing his nomination at Imphal; Gaikhangam of the INC in Nungba AC also preferring Imphal as venue for filing nomination; Kim Gangte (CPI) and Schpu Haokip (JD-U) for Henglep AC; Pumzadou (SP) for Churachandpur; M Chungkhosei (LJP) and TN Haokip (INC) for Saikot; DK Korungthang (INC) for Tengnoupal; and Letjam Singson (LJP) for Jiribam AC.

It may be mentioned that first phase poll to the Ninth Manipur Legislative Assembly would be held on February 8 wherein 77 candidates are left in the fray to represent 19 ACs covering Thoubal, Senapati and Ukhrul districts.

While 15 candidates had pulled out from an initial total of 92 the elections would witness over five lakh electorates decide fate of 77 aspirants including two female contestants.

Wangkhem AC in Thoubal, Karong AC in senapati and Kangpokpi AC in Sadar Hills have maximum number of contestants at six each compared to Lilong, Thoubal, Khangabok, Kakching, Phungyar and Saikul ACs each set for tri-corner contests.

Area-wise Phungyar is said to be largest constituency from among ACs for the first phase polling while in terms of strength of electorates Karong Ac stands-out with 48,280, according to information provided by the Press Information Bureau.

Number of polling stations identified for the first phase is 718 for which 804 electronic voting machines (EVMs) would be used.

The Indian National Congress (INC) is fielding the highest number of candidates for the said poll at 19 compared to BJP, JD (U), NNP and NNP contesting only one AC each.