Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will start their Manipur poll campaign with Prime Minister Narendra Modi making a visit to the state and addressing an election rally in Imphal’s West district, on Saturday. The venue for the rally has been relocated from Kangla Fort to Langjing Achouba after Irom Sharmila’s People Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA) raised objections saying that the Fort is a sacred place for the people of the state.
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The voting for the two phased election in Manipur will be held on March 4th and 8th, with 266 candidates in the fray.
Security has been beefed up in the region, ahead of PM Modi’s arrival.
On Friday, police have recovered two hand grenades outside the houses of two BJP leaders. According to news agency PTI, one Chinese-made hand grenade was found near the gate of BJP candidate Soibam Subhachandra’s residence at Ningombam Leikai, 9 km away from the rally venue, while another bomb was found in front of another BJP worker O Sunil’s residence in Thoubal district, 40 km away from the venue.
The two national parties and rivals Congress and BJP are also the two main players in these elections, with Congress fielding 59 candidates and BJP 60. Trinamool Congress also named 16 candidates, while NCP has 7, CPI 6 and CPI(M) two.
Regional parties, Naga People’s Front has named 16 candidates and People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) has only one candidate contesting elections. The elections will also see 23 independent candidates contesting elections.