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Manipur: Party supporters hold protests after BJP names poll candidates; Burns effigies of PM, CM


Imphal: BJP supporters held intense protests, burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh and shouted slogans as protests erupted on Sunday after the party named candidates for the upcoming assembly elections in the state. Party offices were ransacked in various parts of the state and protesters gathered in several areas with placards. Security has been stepped up around the BJP headquarters in Imphal.

A few party functionaries who were hoping to get tickets have resigned though the exact number remains unclear. Reportedly, most of the disgruntled leaders were those who were not selected to accommodate defectors from the Congress.

Chief Minister N Biren Singh will contest from his traditional seat in Heingang. Another key minister in Manipur, Biswajit Singh, will contest from Thongju seat. Former national footballer Somatai Saiza will contest from Ukhrul. At least 10 former Congress leaders who joined the BJP were given tickets as the BJP announced it would contest all 60 seats in the Manipur assembly elections, releasing a list of its candidates. In the 2017 election, the BJP won 21 seats but formed the government with the help of smaller parties and independent MLAs. Of these, 19 MLAs have been given party tickets and three have been dropped. Protesters alleged that most loyalists of the Chief Minister have got party tickets.

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The Manipur BJP has fielded only three women and one Muslim candidate. Former Manipur Congress chief who joined the BJP, Govindas Konthoujam, has also got a party ticket to contest the election. The three women are Nemcha Kipgen from Kangpokpi, SS Olish from Chandel, and Soraisam Kebi Devi from Naoriyapakhanglakpa. The BJP has also fielded three former Indian Administrative Service officers – Dinganglung Gangmei from Nungba, Yengkhom Surchandra Singh from Kakching, and Raghumani Singh from Uripok.



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