Manipur blockade to not hamper poll process

22 Feb 2017 | Written by Supriya ; Edited by NewsBytes Desk

Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) assured political parties that Manipur elections will be free, fair and unaffected by ongoing economic blockade.

Yesterday, political parties in Manipur had met the Election Commission requesting additional security and forces to ensure people could vote peacefully.

For the last 3 months, there's an ongoing economic blockade in Manipur called by 'United Naga Council' to protest bifurcation of state districts.

In context: Manipur Assembly Elections 2017

AboutElections in Manipur

Manipur is set to go to polls in March with first phase being held on March 4.

Out of a total of 60-seats, 38 constituencies go to polls in the first-phase.

In the last assembly elections in 2012, Congress had won 42 seats.

Remaining were held by All India Trinamool Congress (7), Naga People's Front (4) and Manipur State Congress (5) and others.

Key playersWhich parties are vying for power?

For the last 15 years, Congress has been in power in Manipur and is confident of coming back to power for the fourth time.

The BJP intends to go it alone in the upcoming elections and is confident of taking on Naga People's Front.

For the first time, new party 'People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance' founded by activist Irom Sharmila will contest elections.

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AFSPA and Irom Sharmila

Sharmila was on hunger strike for 16 years demanding repeal of 'Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act' that gave them unbridled powers to use force against locals. Given lack of government response, Sharmila recently broke her fast. She is contesting elections to continue her fight.
What are parties promising?

DetailsWhat are parties promising?

Congress's promises focus around development and repeal of 'Armed Forces Special Powers Act' (AFSPA) if elected.

BJP has committed to corruption free governance if voted to power.

Irom Sharmila, and her party PRJA, the newest entrant in Manipuri politics is promising governance as "clean as a whistle". PRJA has promised development, political reform and is conducting an independent campaign financed by crowd-funding.

Public responseCan Irom Sharmila be the game-changer?

Sharmila's PRJA, is running a crowd-funded campaign intended towards "ending muscle and money power as part of fight against corruption."

Sharmila is taking her message of corruption-free Manipur to far-flung areas which haven't seen any development.

Her message of violence-free Manipur resonates with women. Many believe she can be a great leader but many political opponents are wary and have discouraged her from contesting.

First Muslim woman candidate

Najima Bibi, a Muslim woman candidate is contesting elections for the first time in Manipur. She is a PRJA candidate and has been actively involved in economic independence programmes for women. A fatwa has been issued but she isn't deterred.
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22 Feb 2017Manipur blockade to not hamper poll process

25 Feb 2017Modi: Manipur gave 15 yrs to Congress, give us 5

PM Narendra Modi accused the Congress, which has been in power in Manipur since 2002, of neglecting the state's development.

He alleged CM Okram Ibobi Singh had colluded with those responsible for the economic blockade.

"What Congress did not do in the last 15 years, I assure we will do it in 15 months," he said.

Manipur will vote on March 4 and 8.

03 Mar 2017Irom Sharmila: Will replace Bengali script with Manipuri script

Irom Sharmila's People's Resurgence and Justice Alliance, has vowed to amend the Manipur Official Language Act, 1979, and replace the state's Bengali script "with an indigenous script."

Party sources stated that the new script, would be decided "through public consultation and consensus building among all ethnic groups."

Party convenor Erendro Leichombam said the aim was to revive Manipuri culture.

04 Mar 2017First phase of Assembly Polls begin in Manipur

Polling has commenced in the first phase of assembly elections in Manipur.

38 out of a total of 60 seats have gone to the polls today, which includes the hills and Imphal Valley.

Voting turnout till 11 am stood at 43%.

The elections are a major test for the Okram Ibobi Singh-led Congress government which has ruled Manipur for the past 15 years.

08 Mar 2017Manipur polls: Irom Sharmila vs CM Singh in last phase

22 constituencies in Manipur went to polls on March 8 in the second and last phase of polling.

Thoubal constituency, where rights activist Irom Sharmila is taking on Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, is being keenly watched. The hill districts of Chandel, Senapati, Tamenglog and Ukhrul are also voting.

As of 4 PM, there was 78% turn-out, with the women-men ratio at 1046:1000.