Imphal: With just a few days left for issuance of notification for 12 Manipur Legislative Assembly elections scheduled for February 27 and March 3, all eyes are now on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as many anticipated that BJP’s candidate list will trigger a fresh round of party hopping among those who do not get a party ticket.

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The BJP, which is yet to name any of its candidates, is planning to field candidates in all the 60 Assembly constituencies. The party is staring at infighting to erupt in the party as multiple candidates are vying for candidature on the party ticket in most of the Assembly segments. All aspiring candidates are claiming that they will get the BJP ticket and have gone full throttle with their election campaigns to woo voters.

A highly-reliable party source said the BJP is most likely to declare its first list of candidates later today. Most names to be fielded in 60 assembly segments have been finalised, he added.

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In view of the prevailing situation, many fear that those denied tickets may indulge in violence. As a precautionary measure, a heavy security arrangement has already been put in place in and around the state BJP office at Nityaipat Chuthek in Imphal West.

Ruling out senseless violence after the announcement of the party candidates, state BJP president A Sharda Devi, who returned to Imphal in a chartered flight on Tuesday night, said the BJP is a disciplined party. Names of candidates have been finalised after intensive and extensive surveys conducted earlier, she said.

Stating that surveys have proven to be very effective, she said the inputs from the surveys have been taken into consideration in finalising the candidate.

Sharda, along with Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Public Works Minister Th Biswajit, had been in Delhi to attend the Central Election Committee meeting. The trio reportedly went with a list of candidates shortlisted during the BJP ticket committee meeting after they were summoned to Delhi by the national leaders to take their suggestions on the finalisation of the BJP list.

After their return from Delhi, the trio refused to speculate any date for the announcement of the list to the media. A Sharda said though the list of candidates has been finalised, it will take some time before it is announced. The candidate names will surely be announced once the election notification is issued, she added.

Th Biswajit, who is also BJP’s National Executive Committee member said that party tickets will be given based on the merit of the candidature. Being party MLA is no guarantee for the party’s ticket, he added.

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Media reports said the CEC meeting discussed, in detail, some ‘problematic’ Assembly constituencies over ticket allocation, particularly where new entrants to the party have been admitted.

The Congress had announced its first list of 40 candidates. Upset over the denial of Congress ticket, workers of former Hiyanglam MLA and Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee vice-president Dr Elangbam Dwijamani resigned from the primary membership of the party. Dwijamani and his supporters also burned Congress flags and banners to register their strong protest against party leadership.

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Sources said the Congress, which had bagged 28 seats in the 2017 election, is planning to enter into a pre-poll alliance with some Left parties. The candidates for the remaining 20 seats will be announced after finalising the seat sharing deal with the Left parties, they added.

The NPP had also announced its first list of 20 candidates for Manipur assembly elections. The party, which has four sitting MLAs and is currently in alliance with the BJP, is going alone in the upcoming election and has fielded candidates against its ally in all the seats.

Manipur assembly elections will go to poll in two phases. First phase voting is scheduled for February 27 and the second phase March 3. Notification will be issued on February 1 for the first phase and on February 4. Last date for filing nomination for phase-I is February 8 and for phase-II February 11. Scrutiny will be held on February 9 and February 14 for phase-I and phase-II respectively. Counting of votes will take place on March 10.

Manipur polls 2022: Congress releases list of 40 candidates

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