BJP set to contest 144 seats

The Manipur unit of the BJP is preparing to take on the ruling Congress in the six autonomous district council elections, slated for May 30.

By Khelen Thokchom in Imphal
  • Published 2.04.15
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Imphal, April 1: The Manipur unit of the BJP is preparing to take on the ruling Congress in the six autonomous district council elections, slated for May 30.

Party president Thounaojam Chaoba Singh today announced that the BJP would contest in all the 144 seats of the six district councils in the five hill districts.

Senapati has two district councils.

As part of the preparation, the BJP yesterday constituted its state co-ordination committee with Chaoba Singh as the president.The panel includes three former party presidents, Meinam Bhorot Singh, H. Borobabu Singh and Shantikumar Sharma as its members.

The inclusion of the three former party presidents in the co-ordination committee is a sign of unity within the BJP state unit, which was rocked by internalsquabblingtill recently.

The three former presidents were also present when Chaoba Singh announced the constitution of the committee and that the BJP would contest in the 144 district council seats.

"The party is now united and we are prepared to take on the Congress in the forthcoming district council elections," Chaoba Singh said.

Sharing the dais by the former presidents with Chaoba Singh is a very rare sight after a move by some senior leaders to remove him from the post of party president, which surfaced a couple of years back.

The district council election, which was held in two phases in 2010, saw the Congress sweeping the polls by winning 106 of the 144 seats.

Chaoba Singh said the BJP could now pose a serious threat to the Congress in the district council elections. Singh's confidence is based on joining of several former ministers and MLAs from the hill districts after the BJP came to power at the Centre.

Another factor that raises the hopes of the BJP more and more people are joining the party.

The BJP had only 12,000 members before the Narendra Modi government came to power in Delhi. The membership swelled to more than 2 lakh during its current membership drive.

Singh said the last date for enrolment of fresh members had been extended till April 30. "We will fight the district council election on the issue of development. We will expose misdeeds and malpractices by the Okram Ibobi Singh government during its 13-year rule during the campaign for the council elections," he said.

The district council election is considered to be a test for popularity of the BJP, which has no MLA in Manipur.

This will also be a litmus test for the Congress, which is ruling the state for the third consecutive term with 47 members in a 60-member House.