TODAY -

Trends, Alliances, and Challenges in the General Elections
Analysing Manipur's Political Landscape

Yenning *

 Polling for the Second phase of 12th Manipur Assembly Election 2022 on March 05 2022
Polling for the Second phase of 12th Manipur Assembly Election 2022 on March 05 2022 :: Pix - Lamdamba Oinam



The Indian Parliament operates as a bicameral institution with two houses: Lok Sabha (lower House) and Rajya Sabha (upper House). The Lok Sabha serves as the primary chamber, representing the entire populace of India, with members elected through universal adult suffrage.

Its inaugural election in 1951/1952 saw 489 seats contested, with the Congress party securing 364 seats and Jawaharlal Nehru assuming the post of the first Prime Minister. Subsequently, the 2019 Lok Sabha elections marked the 17th General Elections in the country, involving 552 seats, of which the BJP won 303 seats, leading to Narendra Modi's appointment as Prime Minister.

The Lok Sabha, with a maximum membership of 552, comprises up to 530 members elected from various Constituencies across Indian States. These members, known as Members of Parliament (MPs), are elected from States and Union Territories. Elections to the Lok Sabha are held every five years under the framework of General Elections, following universal adult franchise as stipulated in Article 326 of the Indian Constitution, amended in 1988 to lower the voting age from 21 to 18.

Notably, the provision for nominating two members from the Anglo-Indian community, previously in effect, was extended until 2020 by the 95th Amendment Act, 2009 but has since been discontinued as per the Constitution (104th Amendment) Act, 2019.

Representation from Union Territories in the Lok Sabha is determined by Parliamentary discretion, with direct elections facilitated by the Union Territories (Direct Election to the House of the People) Act, 1965, allowing for a maximum of 20 representatives from these regions.

The electoral framework is governed by Part XV of the Constitution of India, which grants the Election Commission the authority to oversee and regulate elections at various levels, including Parliament, State Legislatures, and offices such as the President and Vice-President.

Articles 325 and 327 provide inclusivity in electoral rolls and empower Parliament to legislate on election matters. Article 329 acts as a safeguard, limiting Court intervention in electoral disputes and directing challenges through election petitions, thus ensuring the smooth functioning of the electoral process.

General Election Trends, Manipur

Manipur has participated in the General Elections since independent India held elections in 1951/1952. From then onwards, only two Constituencies have been allocated for Manipur: Inner (General) and Outer (reserved ST), and one seat each, respectively. While there are 32 Assembly segments in the Inner Manipur Lok Sabha Constituency, the Outer Manipur Lok Sabha Constituency comprises 28 Assembly segments.

Electors in eight constituencies in Thoubal, Kakching and Jiribam districts can only cast their votes. Still, they cannot stand for elections in the Outer Manipur Lok Sabha Constituency. The lone seat is reserved for the Scheduled Tribe (ST). The eight Constituencies are Heirok, Wangjing Tentha, Khanga-bok, Wabgai, Kakching, Hiyanglam, Sugnu and Jiribam.

Table: Results of General Elections, Manipur (1952 �2019)

Inner Manipur / Party Outer Manipur / Party Total electors Total voters Voting turnout (%) Year
Jogeswor Singh / INC Rishang Keishing / SP 298552 152467 51.07 1952
Laisram Achow Singh / Independent Rungsung Suisa / INC 330211 174091 52.72 1957
Salam Tombi Singh / INC Rishang Keishing / SP 405210 264770 65.34 1962
M. Meghachandra / CPI P. Haokip/ Independent 483049 324796 67.24 1967
N. Tombi Singh / INC Paokai / INC 543407 265495 48.86 1971
N. Tombi Singh / INC Yangmaso Shaiza / INC 788223 473895 60.12 1977
Ngangom Mohendra / CPI Gouzagin / INC 909282 742442 81.65 1980
N. Tombi Singh / INC Meijinlung Kamson / INC 1014071 869614 85.75 1984
N. Tombi Singh / INC Meijinlung Kamson / INC 1219514 875158 71.76 1989
Yamnam Yaima / MPP Meijinlung Kamson / INC 1232149 858194 69.65 1991
Thounaojam Chaoba Singh / INC Meijinlung Kamson / INC 1290990 968783 75.04 1996
Thounaojam Chaoba Singh / MSCP Kim Gangte / CPI 1330209 755960 56.83 1998
Thounaojam Chaoba Singh / MSCP Holkhomang / NCP 1372339 901242 65.67 1999
Dr. Thokchom Meinya / INC Mani Charenamei / Independent 1536510 1035696 67.41 2004
Dr. Thokchom Meinya / INC Thangso Baite / INC 1736251 1342296 77.31 2009
Dr. Thokchom Meinya / INC Thangso Baite / INC 1774369 1415059 79.75 2014
Dr. RK Ranjan Singh / BJP Lorho S. Pfoze / NPF 1949439 1611991 82.69 2019


Source: Election Commission of India, various years.

From the Table, we can discern a few trends:

1. The dominance of the Indian National Congress (INC): The INC appears to have been a dominant party in Manipur for several decades, with candidates from the INC winning multiple elections in both Inner and Outer Manipur Constituencies. So, what has the INC done for Manipur, is a question, educated Manipuris are asking.

2. Voting Turnout: The voting turnout fluctuated over the years, ranging from around 48.86% in 1971 to as high as 85.75% in 1984. Overall, there is an increasing trend in voter turnout over time (CAGR of 3.53%), with occasional dips.

3. Rise of Independent Candidates: While SP and MSCP have become defunct and MPP is a spent force, one must recognise the independent candidates. They have won on three occasions, the most recent in 2004. However, their presence diminishes over time, and party politics becomes more prevalent.

4. Variation in Party Success: While the INC remains a significant player, other parties such as the Socialist Party (SP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Manipur Peoples Party (MPP), Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP), and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) also won seats in different election cycles, indicating a degree of political diversity in Manipur.

5. Shifts in Party Alliances: There are instances of candidates switching parties or forming new parties, which reflect the fluidity of political alliances and strategies in Manipur's electoral landscape.

6. Recent Emergence of BJP and NPF: The data also illustrates the emergence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Naga People's Front (NPF) as winning parties in Manipur, particularly in the 2019 elections, where Dr RK Ranjan Singh won in the Inner Manipur constituency, and Lorho S. Pfoze won in the Outer Manipur Constituency.

7. Incumbency and Retention: Meijinlung Kamson holds the record for winning the General Elections four times from the Outer Manipur Constituency. N Tombi Singh, Thounaojam Chaoba Singh, and Dr Thokchom Meinya are the only candidates who have won the general elections three times, all from the Inner Manipur Constituency. Winning multiple elections, consecutively, indicates a level of incumbency advantage or voter support.

8. Kim Gangte's Record: Kim Gangte is the only woman, a Kuki woman, who has won the general elections in Manipur.

9. Ethnic Variation in Outer Manipur Constituency: While the Naga candidates have won ten times in the Outer Manipur Constituency, Kuki candidates have won seven times.

Overall, these trends suggest a dynamic and evolving political scenario in Manipur, characterised by the dominance of certain parties, the emergence of new players, and shifts in party alliances over time.

General Elections 2024

The Lok Sabha elections in Manipur will be held in two phases: the first phase of polling will be held on April 19, and the second phase will be on April 26. A total of 2026623 electors (male - 48.34%, female - 51.65% & third sex - 0.01%) are expected to exercise their franchise. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, there were a total of 1949439 electors (male - 48.649%, female - 51.349% & third sex - 0.002%) with a healthy turnout of 82.69%.

The third gender population (electors) has increased from 45 in 2019 to 239 in 2024. Like in the previous election, there are more women electors than males. Therefore, learned candidates, be nice to the ladies. Moreover, while the 27-Moirang Assembly segment had the highest number of electors (35745), the 13-Singjamei Assembly segment had the lowest number of electors (19918). This trend continues.

In the upcoming elections, besides focusing on development initiatives, the two main political party coalitions, INC-led INDIA Bloc Manipur and BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), will be vying for stability, harmony among ethnic groups, and the preservation of Manipur's territorial integrity within the Inner Manipur Lok Sabha Constituency. Given the despair of the internally displaced peoples and the level of militarisation on account of the ethnic strife, one can expect election interference by armed miscreants.

Nevertheless, it may be a straight fight between sitting MoS Dr RK Ranjan Singh (BJP) and rookie Dr Angomcha Bimol Akoijam, who has staked his academic career on the INC ticket.

There is also an anti-incumbency factor against Dr RK Ranjan Singh. Unfortunately, his house at Kongba was set alight by a mob in May 2023. BJP shall be treading on the razor's edge and is expected to exercise the party whip to deploy its sitting MLAs and workers to mobilise for Dr Ranjan. However, kindly note that the BJP is yet to publicise its candidate.

Dr Bimol is a social media warrior with a large online following. He is a rising star charming the public (Meiteis) with his academic takes, and people praise him for his "ability to engage with the national media". Unfortunately, he is not rooted in grassroots politics. Therefore, Bimol's electoral success depends on former Chief Minister Ibobi Singh, who shares ancestral origin with the aspiring candidate. Congress insiders call it "Thoubal Politics".

Regarding the Outer Constituency, the BJP will not be fielding its candidate. Instead, it has declared to back NPF candidate Kachui Timothy Zimik, a former Indian Revenue Service officer, as a part of the NDA pact. NPF shall be riding on the issues of Naga's political future. Likewise, suppose there are candidates from the Kuki community. In that case, they shall be voicing "separate administration" to get the Kuki people's mandate. However, unlike in 2019, the BJP has withdrawn support to Kuki candidates.

How much militarisation has affected the daily lives of Manipuris is evident from armed miscreants firing indiscriminately during the party/election meetings of INC candidate Alfred K Arthur. This incident is not the first armed outfits to interfere with Arthur's political aspirations. One can expect similar electoral interferences by armed Kuki militants in their dominant areas. However, as usual, electors from eight Assembly segments in the valley area shall decide the electoral outcome in the Outer Manipur Lok Sabha Constituency.

INDIA Bloc Manipur, a constitution of eight political parties active in Manipur, has projected Bimol and Alfred as their common candidates. The eight political parties such as INC, CPI (Marxist), NCP, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray), Aam Aadmi Party, Revolutionary Socialist Party, All India Forward Bloc and All India Trinamool Congress, have confirmed their support for the two Congress candidates, two political parties such as CPI and Janata Dal (United), which have not joined INDIA Bloc Manipur, are yet to confirm their support.

Conclusion

It remains to be seen if INC can rekindle its old magic and forge a victory. Their alliance, the INDIA Bloc Manipur, presents a united front. Still, questions remain about Dr. Bimol Akoijam's ability to translate his online popularity into grassroots support. Meanwhile, the BJP faces an uphill battle with anti-incumbency sentiment. However, NPF has strong chances of retaining the Outer Constituency.

Ultimately, the outcome of the elections will depend on voters' concerns over development, ethnic issues, and the candidates' ability to address the challenges of a region grappling with both internal displacement and heavy militarisation.

With a record number of women electors registered to vote, a high turnout could also be a factor in this dynamic political landscape. Regardless of the victors, a peaceful and violence-free election will be a crucial step forward for democracy in Manipur.


* Yenning wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at hoiyenning(AT)proton(DOT)me
This article was webcasted on March 25 2024.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • 80th Anniv- Battle of Kanglatongbi @UK
  • Violence in Manipur 2023-2024 : Timeline
  • Vir Chakra Ngangom Joydutta's bust unveiled
  • Hun - Thadou Cultural Festival : Gallery
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Singjamei
  • Election Eclipses: Ballad of Battle & Loss
  • Our voices are equal at the ballot box
  • Scientists of Manipur : Ngangkham Nimai
  • Urgent Call for Solidarity in Manipur
  • Meitei Nongsha #2 :: An Artwork
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Waikhong
  • About NPF-BJP-NPP alliance & why ?
  • World Veterinary Day, 2024
  • The heavy stake behind the LS polls
  • The politics of lying & deception
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #1 : Gallery
  • Hun-Thadou Cultural Fest @ Delhi: Report
  • Appeal to Parties & Candidates
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Wangoo
  • Establishment of community seed bank
  • Awareness Programme on new Criminal Laws
  • Make a right choice at the Lok Sabha election
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba: 1 occasion, 2 narratives #1
  • RIST talk-58 : Support systems of elderly
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Hiyanglam
  • Vote, do not boycott !
  • Lok Sabha election: A new dawn in politics ?
  • IIT-Guwahati Half Marathon report
  • Taking ST demand to the election ring
  • Lesson to be learnt from across border
  • Mirabai: Poised for Paris Olympics
  • Legal position for protection of environment
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Keisamthong
  • Heterocyclic compound & biochemical science
  • Inner, torn between two lovers
  • Certification Music Therapy Workshop
  • NOTA as a choice
  • Caesar's wife must be above suspicion
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #29: Download
  • World Health Day 2024
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Pangantabi
  • The Power of Poppy - 26 :: Poem
  • Fulbright Fellowship Outreach at Arunachal
  • Id-ul Fitr da namaz nattana..
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #13 :: Book
  • Lok Sabha election is coming, be prepared
  • 6th Hun-Thadou Cultural Festival
  • Let There Be Free & Fair Election
  • "ST status for Meetei" at Lamlong
  • Science magazines are important for student
  • Interesting choice of candidates
  • The power of We, the voters
  • Inspirations from Scientists of Manipur #1
  • The Case for Amendment of Article 371-C
  • Meitei Nongsha #1 :: Artwork
  • Link between forest & conflict in Manipur
  • Final Call for Application MFA - Phase-2
  • ST for Meiteis call before elections
  • Passing the buck
  • Beating of the Retreat #1 : Gallery
  • Life of our Lives in Ethnic Strife Era! :: Poem
  • IIT-Guwahati annual Half Marathon
  • Follow up: European Parliament on Manipur
  • Yoga & Kegel exercise: Pelvic floor workout
  • Opting for the NOTA button
  • Yearning of the displaced people
  • Kenedy Khuman (Singer) : Gallery
  • 5th NE Women's Peace Congregation
  • World Autism Awareness Day 2024
  • Election fever grips Manipur despite unrest
  • Looking for a decent election hustings
  • Clock ticking towards voting day
  • An exemplary directive
  • Children Camp @JNMDA Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Memo to Election Commission of India
  • Easter & Holi echo in Nilgiris
  • Holiday Camp for children at JNMDA, Imphal
  • Zero waste is our moral responsibility
  • Elections & loyalty vis-a-vis Manipur crisis
  • Show of strength without unity
  • Yaoshang Pichakari #2 : Gallery
  • Panthoi Chanu : 1st to play in Australia
  • Intensive labs in film preservation
  • Building bridges with books
  • Need of the hour: Political maturity
  • Accepting defeat before the election
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #28: Download
  • April Calendar for Year 2024 : Tools
  • Natural packaging from bamboo : Gallery
  • The Power of Poppy - 25 :: Poem
  • Everyone has their own Bharat Ratna
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #12 :: Book
  • Demand- Manipuri as classical language
  • The Drummer from Odisha
  • Beauty benefits of lemon
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba #2 : Gallery
  • Manipur's original Ponies : Gallery
  • Yaoshang & Dance of Democracy loom
  • Symposium on Jagadguru Shankaracharya
  • Choosing ITI as a campus after X
  • Yaoshang Pichakari #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang @Nabadwip Dham : Gallery
  • How oral health affects your pregnancy
  • Two faces of Holi
  • Prawaas 4.0, Multimodal Transport Show
  • A decade of development of higher education
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba #1 : Gallery
  • Our Eternal Kangleipak :: Poem
  • Micro-livestock for livelihoods: For NE States
  • The fun of Holi used to be monotonous
  • 2nd Annual Art Exhibition #1 : Gallery
  • About the "Meitei" community from Manipur
  • Unveiling the medicinal benefits of honey
  • The incalculable value of wildlife
  • Promises of true love
  • Trends, Alliances, & Challenges in Elections
  • Meitei Goddess Ngaleima : An Artwork
  • Water is the most precious gift of God
  • Bharat needs a strong 'India'
  • Transformation of railway stations
  • Not quite the final countdown
  • Missing of 'The Saffron' from electoral colour
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #27: Download
  • 3rd North East Games: Manipur champion
  • The Power of Poppy - 24 :: Poem
  • EBTC & JCRE signed MoU
  • Early Detection Program at Toubul
  • How Holi affects our mood & mental health
  • Lamta Thangja @ Imphal : Gallery
  • Manipur cinema legacy shines at ARCUREA
  • The pulse of politics amidst conflict
  • Forest is most important vital organ of Earth
  • Tips to play safe Holi
  • Politics of naming candidates
  • Disappearing of spring from season cycle
  • Meira Paibis of Manipur
  • Demand for ST status by Meiteis
  • Project Personal Opening @Assam University
  • World Poetry Day at Manipur University
  • Green skills for sustainable world
  • Supportive interventions during exam time
  • Interesting run up to LS polls
  • Onus definitely on PM to restore peace
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #11 :: Book
  • Water, water everywhere ...
  • 21st March - A special day for Forest
  • RI imprisonment to Rapists at Silchar
  • Arrests threaten fragile ceasefire
  • The Valor Within :: Poem
  • Monitoring the rehab centres
  • True colour of politicians
  • North East Film Festival #2 : Gallery
  • Linthoingambi- 'Jury Honourable Mention'
  • Meitei Goddess Phouoibi : An Artwork #3
  • Formation of Wesean Student Federation
  • 20th March- International Day of Happiness
  • A call to first time voter youths
  • Playing the card close to its chest
  • Targeting FOCS and ITLF
  • Students @ Class X Exam : Gallery
  • Alarming Pictures of Nongpok Sekmai River
  • Health camp at Khangabok Relief Camp
  • Absence of refugee laws fuels ethnic tension
  • Electoral bonds and Mr Bond
  • ATSUM spilling the beans now
  • Main stumbling block to peaceful election
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #26: Download
  • Engudam Kavita: Gold @Bodybuilding Ch'ship
  • Sangai :: An Artwork
  • Deepika M urges to observe 2 Mins Silence
  • Attention Manifesto letters- boxes of promises
  • Gearing up for Lok Sabha polls
  • Debate over long poll process
  • Saroi Khangba @ Kangla : Gallery
  • Stress in adolescents due to ethnic clash
  • Will Manipur ever be the same again
  • Innovation : A review
  • Love and Harmony :: Poem
  • Special scholarship scheme for girls
  • Imphal Book Fair 2023 #3 : Gallery
  • Relief material at Serou & Wangoo
  • The power of the human-animal bond
  • Agribusiness & food processing in North East
  • India Defense Policy: Challenge & Imperative
  • Sit across the table and talk
  • Controversial arrest & chaotic confusion
  • Protest for scrapping SoO #2 :Gallery
  • Kangpokpi, a safe haven for immigrants
  • Education Tour to cover 90 Liangmai villages
  • NE Centre for High School Research
  • Rivers & life on planet Earth
  • Efforts to free examinations from cheating
  • Wanted : A Govt that works
  • Leaving undone what ought to be done
  • Interview with Kenedy Khuman (Singer)
  • Meitei Goddess Phouoibi : An Artwork #2
  • Manmade barriers that block TB care
  • Little Leisana & other tales :: Review
  • OPD Camp at Lamboikhongnangkhong
  • Farmers need markets, not charity !
  • Questions for political parties
  • CAA-NRC collision
  • Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing #10 :: Book
  • ST tag is a must for survival of Meetei- Why?
  • Maharaj Narasingh Statue @Kangla :Gallery
  • The Power of Poppy - 23 :: Poem
  • Chinese soft power: Unveiling the silk road
  • BID in Setbacks through MOM
  • Gearing up for LS polls amid unrest
  • Of ECl's vacant post, bonds of contention
  • North East Film Festival #1 : Gallery
  • Kiren Rijiju is wrong about Manipur violence
  • Working Committee Meeting Minutes -NPF
  • Journal: Insights from a youth amidst conflict
  • Aaya Ram Gaya Ram influenced politics
  • Questions over the status of SoO pact
  • Deportation of illegal immigrants
  • Shopping List for Shivaratri : Gallery
  • Mahadev & our turmoil
  • Seminar : Inclusive Education: Past, Present
  • High prevalence of AIDS in NE alarming
  • Fruit peels for glowing skin
  • A test for the voters
  • Tedious tirades & futile expectations
  • Descent of Radha-Krishna #25: Download
  • Holistic Review of Article 371 C
  • National Lok Adalat, District Court, Manipur
  • Scholarships for SSC Aspirants from ST
  • Gift of Life :: Poem
  • Women leading towards economy of equality
  • N Tombi Equestrian C'ships #1 : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2024 #1: Gallery
  • Transgender Malem protest [Mar 6] : Gallery
  • Radio E-pao: Manipuri Film OST (130+ song)
  • Inclusion of ethnic Meetei in Scheduled Tribe
  • Monica Konjengbam- Mega Miss North East
  • Save Manipur : Protest [Feb 15] #3 : Gallery
  • Martin Irengbam - Mister North East 2024
  • Naorem Roshibina- Wushu Medallist : Gallery
  • GHOST of PEACE :: Download Booklet
  • Arambai Tengol & SFs #4 : Gallery
  • Abnormal population growth of Kuki from 1881
  • Resilience in adversity | Kumbi : Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai at Keishamthong #2 : Gallery
  • Protests attack @ Moreh [18 Jan] #2: Gallery
  • Oinam Chaoba Devi: Sepak Takraw : Gallery
  • List of Kings of Manipur: 33 - 1984 AD
  • SPONSORED ADS