TODAY -

Lok Sabha elections : Kuki MLAs, CSOs to discuss 'chosen candidate'
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, April 03 2024: Ten Kuki MLAs including 7 of BJP and Kuki civil organisations including ITLF, CoTU and Kuki Inpi Manipur are likely to hold a meeting next week, probably on Tuesday, to decide their choice of candidate in the Outer Manipur Parliamentary elections, said reliable sources.

Earlier on March 28 a meeting was held at Guwahati, where several Kuki MLAs and representatives of SoO groups attended, but a concrete decision as to whom they should support in the elections could not be taken, added the sources.

Meanwhile, the meeting likely to be held at Kangpokpi on Tuesday is expected to take a final decision, they said.

Significantly, amid the tension in the State due to the violent conflict between the Meiteis and the Kukis, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has not fielded any candidate in the Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency.

Manipur will vote in two phases.

Voting for Inner Parliamentary Constituency and some segments of the Outer Parliamentary Constituency will be held on April 19 .

The voting for the remaining segments of the Outer Parliamentary Constituency will be held on April 26 .

Even as the BJP has not fielded any candidate in Outer Manipur, it had earlier announced that it would extend support to NPF candidate Kachui Timothy Zimik.

The BJP, however, is not conducting election campaigns for the NPF candidate openly.

While the BJP, which is ruling in the Centre and the State, is rooting for the NPF candidate, it is not yet clear whether the seven Kuki MLAs of the BJP will follow suit and support the NPF.

The 10 Kuki MLAs include 7 of BJP, 2 of Kuki People's Alliance (KPA) and one Independent.

Sources said Kuki bodies, especially the Indigenous Tribal Leaders' Forum (ITLF), Committee on Tribal Unity (CoTU) "want to remain neutral in the election without fielding any Kuki candidate and let people vote according to their choice" .

On the other hand, the BJP MLAs of the Kukis "want to support the NPF candidate" .

Meanwhile, the meeting in Kangpokpi on Tuesday is likely to be attended by the ten Kuki MLAs, leaders of ITLF, CoTU, Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) and other Kuki civil organisations.

Given the tension in the State, sources said the outcome of the meeting on Tuesday is likely to influence voting of the Kuki people.


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