Imphal, March 16, 2019:
Even as the Election Commission of India had announced the election schedule days back, both the ruling BJP and opposition Congress party of Manipur, the main contenders who are going to fight the Lok Sabha poll neck to neck, are yet to announce the list of candidates.
Manipur has two Lok Sabha Seats – Outer Manipur parliamentary constituency and Inner Manipur parliamentary constituency. Election notification for Outer and Inner Parliamentary constituencies will be issued on March 18 and March 19 respectively. Last of Submission of the nomination form is March 25 and March 26.
Earlier, both the parties had held threadbare discussions to field their right candidates in the Outer Manipur parliamentary constituency and Inner Manipur parliamentary constituency.
According to a source, Chief Minister N Biren and Works minister Thongam Bishwajit, BJP Manipur Pradesh Secretary (Organisation) Premananda Meetei have rushed to the national capital on Friday to attend a meeting of the BJP Parliamentary board to be held on March 16 to finalize the list of BJP candidates. The leaders left Imphal following a summon by the party’s national leadership to discuss and finalize the list of BJP candidates for Manipur. BJP State Unit president MP Ksh Bhavananda, who is currently at Guwahati, has also reached New Delhi to attend the meeting. After a threadbare deliberation regarding allotment of tickets in the meeting where BJP President Amit Shah and Prime minister Modi are expected to be present, the party is likely to announce the list of candidates by March 16 or 17, revealed the source.
With Chief Minister N Biren and Party President Ksh Bhavananda in the chair, the party had earlier conducted several meetings regarding the list of intended candidates to field in the outer and inner parliamentary constituencies. Chief Minister N Biren and party president Ksh Bhavananda also attended a meeting of NEDA held at Guwahati on Tuesday with BJP national secretary Ram Madhav in the chair. During the meeting, they discussed threadbare regarding allotment of tickets to the candidates who will be fielding in the Outer and Inner seats in Manipur, the source said.
Altogether 16 aspiring candidates in the Inner Manipur parliamentary constituency are vying for BJP tickets while 10 aspiring candidates in the Outer seat. Who will be fielded as BJP candidates in both the outer and inner seats is yet to be confirmed as the matter has to be decided by the BJP parliamentary board, added the source.
For the Congress Party, a meeting of AICC ticket screening committee held on Wednesday had completed screening of the candidates who will be fielding in the Northeast states including Manipur. The meeting was attended by former Chief Minister and leader of CLP Okram Ibobi and Congress working committee member Gaikhangam who are still camping in the national capital. Congress party is likely to announce the list of candidates for Northeast by March 16 or 17, the source revealed.
For Congress, nine intending candidates are vying for the ticket in the Inner Manipur parliamentary constituency which will go to poll on April 18 while seven candidates in the Outer seat which will go to poll on April 11.
Former MLA Dr. N Bijoy, former MLA O Joy, National coordinator Fishermen Congress Ningombam Bupendra Meetei, Retired IPS and secretary MPCC S Manaobi, Thoubal BCC member K Saratchandra, sitting MP Dr. Th Meinya Moirang BCC member Mairembam Bishwajit, Bishnupur BCC member and former chief secretary O Nabakishore, retd IAS and former MLA I Hemochandra are among the intending candidates vying for Congress ticket in the Inner Manipur parliamentary constituency.
For Outer seat, Tongmang Haokip, retd IRS and Saitu BCC member, W L Hangshing, retd IAS, KS Ngaile, Karong BCC member, T Jamkhomang Haokip, Chandel DCC vice president, Sword Vashum, Chingai BCC member, John Mangliathang Jhou, Chandel BCC member and K James, Phubgyar BCC member are vying for ticket.