16 in Chandel, 15 in Tamenglong gear up for poll battles
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 16: Altogether 16 candidates are in the fray in the two Assembly constituencies of Chandel district which go to the polls in the final phase on February 23 while in the three Assembly segments of Tamenglong district, 15 candidates have geared up for the political battles to for the three Assembly seats for the next five years.

In 41-Chandel A/C having 42,719 voters, 10 candidates including five independents are contesting for a seat in the Manipur Legislative Assembly.

The independent candidates are L Benjamin, ST Feo Kolari, Francis Huten, D Ringo and PR Salanki Chothe.

The other candidates in the Assembly segment are DN Haokip (CPI), M Sokhopao Haokip (MPP), Ch Chandramani (SP), Chungjalen Haokip (LJSP) and Thangkholun Haokip (RJD).

Six other candidates including former BJP MLA BD Behring and ST Kohring earlier withdrew their nomination papers.

BD Behring had earlier resigned from the Assembly ahead of the election.

Even as it is reported that the UNC is fielding its �consensus candidate� in the constituency, it is still unclear as to who has been nominated as its �consensus candidate� with the names of L Benjamin and Francis Huten doing the round.

Incumbent MLA of 42-Tengnoupal A/C DK Korungthang (INC) is facing a stiff challenge from his long time political rival Onjamang Haokip who is contesting under the CPI ticket.

Former Minister and Morung Makunga, though contesting as an independent candidate this time, is another towering political figure in Tengnoupal constituency.

Haopu Haokip of MPP, Chungsei (RJD) and Jangkholet Haokip ((SP) are also in the fray seeking the mandate of the 47,400 strong electorates.

In Chandel A/C inhabited by both Kukis and Nagas, a tense battle is expected between Kuki and Naga candidates.

The situation is even more engrossing in Tengnoupal A/C where Meiteis and other communities have a sizeable population in addition to Nagas and Kukis.

A keen contest is on the card between UNC sponsored candidates, Congress nominees and Kuki candidates.

The Assembly Constituency of 52-Tamei having the least number of voters (29,115) as compared to other Assembly segments of Tamenglong district will see six candidates fighting for a seat in the State Assembly.

In fact, sitting MLA Z Mangaibou (INC) is having a tough time in the triangular face off with Athuan Abonmai (Ind) and UNC sponsored candidate Awangbow Newmai in Tamei Assembly Constituency.

In the face of the relentless campaign by UNC to ensure success of its candidate and people's vehement opposition to UNC's and others's interference in the electoral process, the Congress party is making all out efforts to retain the Assembly seat.

Other candidates in the fray include Helkhomang Singson (SAP), Haimasuang (Ind) and Lungsu Panmei (Ind).

After resigning from FPM and the Assembly, Samuel Jendai is contesting in 53-Tamenglong A/C having 25,295 voters with the blessing of UNC.

He would be rubbing his shoulders with Jangamlung Panmei (INC) and three other candidates.

Khangthuanang Panmei (Ind) who gave a close fight to Samuel Jendai in the 8th Assembly elections is also in the fray.

Others joining the fray are Kammilun Gangte (LJSP) and Digao Pamei (Ind).

Two old rivals and political heavyweights - sitting MLA and MPCC president Gaikhangam and former Minister Gangmumei Ka-mei are battling for the 54-Nungba A/C. Just as in the previous elections, altogether four candidates are in the fray in the Assembly segment with 21,047 electorates.

The two other candidates are Khamkhogin Thangjom (LJSP) and Sangamlung (Ind).

Jiribam A/C included in Imphal East district but located far away from the district headquarters, and sandwiched between Churachandpur and Tamenglong districts will see eight candidates including three long time political rivals, seeking people's mandate.

The old rivals in the Assembly segment having 25,683 voters belonging to different communities are incumbent MLA Th Debendra (INC), A Biren (NCP) and A Dipti (Ind).

Other candidates in Jiribam A/C where the demand to upgrade the sub-division into a revenue district is a persistent issue are A Jabbar (RJD), Singson Letjam (LJSP) and independent candidates Ch Engmoi, Thokchom Gokulananda and Lienkholal Dulen.