Shortly after the ruling BJP announced list of candidates for the upcoming Assembly polls in Manipur, many aspiring candidates of the party, including sitting MLAs, announced their resignation from the party on Sunday after being denied tickets.
In protest, supporters burnt effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh and shouted slogans against the decision as BJP’s Central Election Committee released the much-awaited candidates’ list amid a tight security at the party’s State unit head office here in the afternoon.
Party offices were ransacked in various parts of the State and protesters gathered in several areas with placards. Party’s mandal leaders also announced that they would close down offices in their respective constituencies. At some places, police had to even resort to teargas shelling and firing mock bombs to disperse the agitated workers and supporters who took to the streets.
At least 10 former Congress leaders who joined the BJP were given tickets as the party announced contesting all 60 seats in the Assembly elections. Former Manipur Congress chief who joined BJP, Govindas Konthoujam, also got the ticket to contest the election.
The protesters alleged that BJP, which was against family politics, was now following the same path of Congress. Former minister and BJP spokesperson Dr Nimaichand Luwang also resigned after he was denied ticket. The party also denied tickets to three sitting MLAs, while offering them to political turncoats. Angered over this, three MLAs – Y Erabot Singh, M Rameshwar and P Sharatchandra – tendered their resignation from the party. They also declared to contest the elections from other parties as desired by their supporters.
After his resignation, Erabot joined National People’s Party (NPP) late in the evening and would be contesting from the party.
As per the list, N Biren Singh will contest from his traditional seat in Heingang.
Manipur is set to go to polls in two phases on February 27 and March 3. The notification for the first phase of polls in 38 Assembly constituencies will be issued on February 1, while that of the second phase in the remaining 22 seats on February 4. Counting of votes will take place on March 10.