Imphal: The BJP set the ball rolling in Manipur, with its candidate Usham Deben Singh defeating Congress rival Md Fajur Rahman by a slender margin of 50 votes in the Wabgai constituency, election officials said on Thursday.
The Janata Dal (United), which is ahead in three seats, also opened its account, winning the Tipaimukh constituency, as its nominee N Sanate got the better of his nearest BJP rival and former minister Chaltolien Amo by a margin of 1,249 votes.
The BJP is leading in 19 seats, and Chief Minister N Biren Singh is on the verge of winning the Heingang constituency, where he is ahead of his Congress rival by more than 18,000 votes, Election Commission data showed.
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The Congress, which had emerged as the single-largest party, winning 28 seats in the 2017 assembly elections, is currently leading in just three seats.
The National People’s Party is leading in four seats, while the Naga People’s Front is ahead in seven seats.
Counting of votes for 60 assembly seats in Manipur began at 8 am on Thursday under tight security and strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
Trends were available with the EC for 41 constituencies at 1.30 pm.
The BJP had formed a government in Manipur in 2017 despite having just 21 seats, joining hands with the two local parties – the NPP and NPF. The saffron party’s own strength later increased to 28.
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