Congress scores hat trick in Manipur (Roundup)

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 06, 2012 15:30 hrs

Imphal, March 6 (IANS) In an Assam redux, the Congress performed a hat-trick in Manipur, sweeping the poll results Tuesday with a two-thirds majority in the 60-member assembly.

The party, under Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, also improved its tally by 12 seats over the 2007 elections when the Congress secured 30 seats.

Ibobi Singh will be the second chief minister in the northeast to make it to the top seat for the third consecutive time in recent times after Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

While Gogoi brought the party to power in Assam in 2001, 2006 and 2011, Ibobi Singh single-handedly brought the Congress to power in Manipur in 2002, 2007 and now in 2012.

The Congress camp was jubilant across the state as the party had exceeded its expectation of winning 35 seats.

The Trinamool Congress bagged seven seats, followed by the Manipur State Congress Party with five seats. The Naga Peoples' Front (NPF) won four seats and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) secured one seat each.

"The people of the state have shown their faith in the Congress government. After assuming charge, our government is going to take up all the burning issues of the state like power crisis and road connectivity," said a happy Okram Ibobi Singh, adding that he has convened a meeting Wednesday with all Congress leaders to go ahead with formalities of government formation.

Ibobi Singh retained his Thoubal seat, defeating his rival from the BJP Indira Oinam by a huge margin of over 15,000 votes.

Ibobi Singh's wife Landhoni Devi won the Khangabok seat, defeating her rival Jatra Singh of Manipur People's Party (MPP) by a huge margin of over 9,000 votes. Khangabok was the chief minister's constituency earlier.

Opposition parties received a severe jolt after three leaders, Radhabinod Koijam of the NCP, O. Joy Singh and Th Chaoba Singh of MPP, lost the elections.

Koijam, who was leader of opposition in the outgoing Manipur assembly, is a former chief minister and was instrumental in bringing the 11 non-Congress parties under one anti-Congress alliance -- Peoples' Democratic Alliance (PDA).

Congress spokesman in Manipur N. Biren Singh has won from the Heingang constituency.

In Manipur, the Congress had a tough battle this time facing the PDA. The non-Congress alliance comprised the NCP, Manipur People's Party (MPP), the Communist Party of India (CPI), the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), the Janata Dal-United (JD-U), National People's Party (NPP), Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP), Trinamool Congress, LJP, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the NPF.

What made it worse for the Congress was the fact that at least seven militant outfits had imposed a ban on the party. The militants also attacked several Congress candidates and supporters ahead of the Jan 28 vote.

In 2007, Congress secured 30 seats followed by NCP and Manipur Peoples' party (MPP) securing five seats each. The CPI won four seats in 2007 followed by Rastriya Janta Dal (RJD) and Naga Peoples' Party (NPP) securing three seats each. Ten independent candidates also made it to the final tally in 2007.

More from Sify: