CM Ibobi files nomination papers
Congress is confident of winning two-third majority: Ibobi
THOUBAL | Feb 16
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh has filed his nomination papers today as a Congress candidate for Thoubal constituency at DC Thoubal office.
Speaking to media persons after filing his nomination papers, Okram Ibobi Singh said the Congress party will get two-third majority in the upcoming assembly elections and Congress government will return to power.
He added that the party is confident of winning more than 40 seats.
When asked about the allegations made against his government by BJP and other political parties, the Chief Minister said the allegations are baseless and unfounded.
People know that those who are making such wild allegations were in the Congress holding high portfolios and they are making the allegations after deserting the Congress, he said.
Chief Minister Okram Ibobi also expressed confidence that the Congress candidates will win 50 percent of the seats in the 10 constituencies in Naga dominated areas.
When asked about Irom Sharmila’s coming into the fray in the Thoubal, CM said as India is a democratic country any citizen can contest elections but voters elect their representatives. As such Sharmila has the right to contest election but her candidature in Thoubal constituency is not a personal challenge to him, Ibobi observed.
Manipur has a 60-member House and 40 come from the valley districts. Altogether 38 constituencies spread across Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishnupur, Churachandpur and Sadar Hills will go to poll in the first phase of the state election slated to take place on March 4.
In the politically important hills, Saikul, Kangpokpi, Saitu, Tipaimukh, Thanlon, Henglep, Churachandpur, Saikot and Singhat are covered in the first phase of the election.
In Thoubal constituency, the home turf of Ibobi Singh, five candidates, including the Chief Minister and rights activist Irom Sharmila will contest for the important seat. The other three are BJP candidate L Basanta, TMC candidate S Suresh and Independent candidate AK Manglemjao.
Meanwhile, iconic hunger striker Irom Sharmila also filed nomination from Thoubal where polling will take place in the second phase on March 8.
She filed her nomination on behalf of her People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA), which is making an electoral debut this year.
She reached Thoubal on her bicycle, covering a distance of over 20 km from Imphal, flanked by her party activists including party convenor Erendro Leichombam.
Speaking to media persons on the sidelines, Irom Sharmila expressed her confident of winning the seat by securing anything between 15,000 and 16,000 votes.
“If elected, I’ll give first priority to lifting of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) and ‘rebuilding’ relationship between the hills and valley communities,” Sharmila said.
She recently launched her political party, People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) to fight the Manipur assembly election. Sharmila ended her 16-year-old fast on August 9, 2016 to enter electoral politics. The anti-AFSPA crusader has promised to carry on her campaign on the plank against the military Act.
In the second phase, altogether 22 assembly constituencies including Thoubal will go to poll on March 8. Filing of nomination papers for the second phase of the election came to an end today.
Today, scrutiny of nominations for the first phase of the election was attended by a total of 171 candidates.
From the hill disticts, Saikul in Sadar Hills recorded the highest number of nominations numbering 11. In the valley, Imphal East’s Keirao constituency registered 10 while Keishamthong constituency in Imphal West with eight nominations, the highest number in the district.