After 15 years of Okram Ibobi Singh led Congress government in Manipur, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to form government in the state this year, according to exit polls. The surveys predicted a close fight between the ruling Congress and BJP with C Voter giving 25-31 seats to BJP, followed by 17-23 seats to Congress and 9-15 seats to Others out of 60 assembly seats.
The other exit polls gave BJP a slight lead against the Congress predicting a change in power in the north-eastern state. At least 30 out out of 60 seats are required for any party to form government in the state.
Manipur this year saw iron lady Irom Sharmila making her debut in the elections with her party named People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRJA). She contested from two constituencies, Thoubal and Khurai in the state. Sharmila broke her 16-year long fast against AFSPA last year.
The first and second phase of elections in the state saw a voting turnout of 84 per cent and 86 per cent respectively.
In 2002, 2007 and 2012 Manipur assembly elections, congress won 20, 30 and 42 seats respectively with its seat count increasing steadily. The counting and result for this year’s polls will be declared on March 11.
While campaigning, Congress and BJP played a blame game by raising the economic blockade and the Naga Peace Accord issue which led to massive violence in the state last month.