Ticket Aspirants Pose Problems For BJP In Manipur

Imphal: The ruling BJP in Manipur ahead of the assembly elections has been facing rebellion from the possible aspirants with a saffron party leader Lourembam Sanjoy Singh, on Saturday, joining the National People’s Party (NPP), the junior ally of the dominant party.

In another development, a BJP Mandal President of Lilong assembly seat (near Imphal) on Saturday threatened to abolish the party unit in the assembly constituency if the dedicated candidate is not given party ticket for the assembly elections.

As the Central leaders of BJP in Delhi are finalising the candidates for the forthcoming Manipur assembly polls, Sanjoy Singh resigned from BJP as he was seeking party ticket from Andro seat in Imphal East district.

NPP national Vice-President and Manipur Deputy Chief Minister Y. Joykumar Singh welcoming Sanjoy Singh said that more BJP leaders who are anticipating that they would not be nominated by the saffron party would join NPP, which already released its first list of 20 candidates.

“Let BJP announce its nominees. Most of their winnable intending candidates who are not being fielded, would join our party,” the NPP leader told the media.

With four MLAs, the NPP is an ally of the BJP-led government, however, the party already announced to fight the polls on its own.

The NPP headed by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, however, already announced to contest the elections on its own this time and would field candidates in at least 40 seats.

The NPP, a national political party, which has political bases in different northeastern states, had contested nine seats in 2017 and won four.

Another ally of the BJP-led government, the Naga People’s Front (NPF), is still undecided on a pre-poll alliance in Manipur.

BJP has recently asked its possible candidates to give a written undertaking to prevent them from joining other parties when they are not given tickets.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, senior minister Thongam Biswajit, who is holding six important portfolios, and state BJP chief Adhikarimayum Sharda Devi were in Delhi earlier this week for consultation with the central leaders in regards to selection of candidates and finalising election strategies.

The BJP, which had bagged 21 seats in 2017, came to power for the first time, stitching together a coalition government with the support of four NPP MLAs, four Naga People’s Front (NPF) members, the lone Trinamool Congress MLA and an Independent member.

The Congress, despite emerging as the single-largest party with 28 seats was ousted from power after 15 years in the last assembly polls (2017).

The Congress, which released its first list of 40 candidates for Manipur polls, on Thursday announced a pre-poll alliance with four Left parties and Janata Dal-Secular.

The elections to the 60-member Manipur Assembly would be held in two phases on February 27 and March 3 and the counting of votes will take place on March 10.