BJP, Congress to go head-to-head in Imphal municipal elections

Imphal, May 19 (IANS) A total of 87 candidates will fight for 27 councillors seats in the upcoming Imphal Municipal Corporation elections after their nomination papers were cleared by the returning officers on Thursday.

Besides, nomination papers of 127 candidates for the 54-member development committee were also cleared during the scrutiny.

The ruling Congress and the opposition BJP have fielded 26 candidates each for the ward councillors seats, spread in the Imphal east and Imphal west districts.

Thounaojam Chaoba, former state unit BJP president and now in-charge of the election cell, said: “Our party will win the IMC elections.”

However some Congress leaders, who appeared unnerved by the results of assembly elections to five states, are not readily conceding saying, “IMC polls are fought on local issues.”

Chaoba said, “Congress is another name of corruption and people who are fed up with this culture of corruption shall vote for the BJP.”

Congress members, including the Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh brushed aside the allegations, saying, “In a small state like Manipur everybody knows who is corrupt or not.”

Congress candidates are highlighting developmental works done by the party and stability of the Congress government through their door-to-door campaign.

BJP activists are highlighting the non-distribution of rice and flour under the National Food Security Act, 2013 which was implemented in Manipur from April 25, 2016.

Chaoba said: “The ration cards should be distributed by local bodies and rice made available in fair price shops. But, there is no fair price shop functioning anywhere in the state.”

The election outcome in Assam is likely to have an impact on the outcome of the IMC polls on June 2.

Both parties agree that IMC elections will have a direct bearing on the Manipur Assembly polls in February 2017.

A total of 1,75,864 voters will exercise their franchise in the IMC elections.

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