Manipur 2017

Manipur awaits results with bated breath

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh. File photo

Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh. File photo   | Photo Credit: S. Subramanium

An uncanny silence prevails over the central party offices of the Congress and the BJP in the State

With the two main exit polls showing contrasting results and even political experts unwilling to commit themselves on what has emerged as the most fiercely contested Assembly polls in Manipur in the past few decades, people and politicians in the northeastern State are waiting with bated breath for Saturday’s results.

A day before the results for the 2017 Assembly polls on Friday, an uncanny silence prevailed over the central party offices of the Congress and the BJP, the two prominent political forces in the State.

In Imphal’s B.T. Road is Congress Bhawan Manipur, where about a dozen vehicles were parked and many party workers had gathered. President of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee T.N. Haokip was glued to the exit poll results on television in his office with three other party workers. “We are expecting to win 35 seats in the 60-member Assembly,” Mr. Haokip said. When asked about Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh’s expectations of 40 seats, the State Congress president said, “He is still saying 40.”

“You know, a small family is easy to manage,” the Congress leader said in the context of winning fewer seats, claiming additionally that, “The elections this time were no normal elections.”

A chart on votes polled in favour of each party for all the 60 seats is ready before him. “This is our preparation for tomorrow. As results will start to come in, we will fill in the blanks on which party got how many votes in every constituency,” he said, pointing at a “polled result sheet”.

Less than one kilometre away is the BJP’s office, located next to the Raj Bhavan in the Nityaipat Chuthek area of the city. Here, the vehicles were fewer but a large number of armed paramilitary personnel could be seen. A board kept at the entrance to the hall points to a meeting of all BJP counting agents on Thursday. “Tomorrow, most of our candidates from the valley will be there. We hope to start celebrations as early as possible,” the BJP’s State General Secretary N. Nimbus Singh said.

Hints at alliance

The BJP’s largely single-storey party office was set up in 2012. “The Modi wave and anti-incumbency will see the party through…. If we fall short of some seats, we can still manage,” the BJP leader said, hinting at the possibility of an alliance with smaller parties.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:11:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/manipur-2017/manipur-awaits-results-with-bated-breath/article17444117.ece

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