Congress scores hat trick in Manipur

By: | Updated: 06 Mar 2012 11:42 AM

Imphal: In an Assam redux, the Congress performed a hat-trick in
Manipur, sweeping the poll results Tuesday with a two-thirds majority in
the 60-member assembly. The party, under Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh,
also improved its tally by 12 seats over the 2007 elections when the
Congress secured 30 seats.

Ibobi Singh will be the second chief
minister in the northeast to make it to the top seat for the third
consecutive time in recent times after Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
While Gogoi brought the party to power in Assam in 2001, 2006 and 2011,
Ibobi Singh single-handedly brought the Congress to power in Manipur in
2002, 2007 and now in 2012.

The Congress camp was jubilant across
the state as the party had exceeded its expectation of winning 35 seats.
The Trinamool Congress bagged seven seats, followed by the Manipur State
Congress Party with five seats. The Naga Peoples' Front (NPF) won four
seats and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Lok Janashakti Party
(LJP) secured one seat each.

"The people of the state have shown
their faith in the Congress government. After assuming charge, our
government is going to take up all the burning issues of the state like
power crisis and road connectivity," said a happy Okram Ibobi Singh,
adding that he has convened a meeting Wednesday with all Congress leaders
to go ahead with formalities of government formation. Ibobi Singh retained
his Thoubal seat, defeating his rival from the BJP Indira Oinam by a huge
margin of over 15,000 votes.

Ibobi Singh's wife Landhoni Devi won
the Khangabok seat, defeating her rival Jatra Singh of Manipur People's
Party (MPP) by a huge margin of over 9,000 votes. Khangabok was the chief
minister's constituency earlier. Opposition parties received a severe jolt
after three leaders, Radhabinod Koijam of the NCP, O. Joy Singh and Th
Chaoba Singh of MPP, lost the elections.

Koijam, who was leader
of opposition in the outgoing Manipur assembly, is a former chief minister
and was instrumental in bringing the 11 non-Congress parties under one
anti-Congress alliance -- Peoples' Democratic Alliance (PDA). Congress
spokesman in Manipur N. Biren Singh has won from the Heingang

In Manipur, the Congress had a tough battle this
time facing the PDA. The non-Congress alliance comprised the NCP, Manipur
People's Party (MPP), the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Communist
Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), National
People's Party (NPP), Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP), Trinamool
Congress, LJP, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the NPF.

What made
it worse for the Congress was the fact that at least seven militant
outfits had imposed a ban on the party. The militants also attacked
several Congress candidates and supporters ahead of the Jan 28 vote.

2007, Congress secured 30 seats followed by NCP and Manipur Peoples' party
(MPP) securing five seats each. The CPI won four seats in 2007 followed by
Rastriya Janta Dal (RJD) and Naga Peoples' Party (NPP) securing three
seats each. Ten independent candidates also made it to the final tally in

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First Published: 06 Mar 2012 11:42 AM
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