12 women candidates in the fray
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, February 09: Altogether 12 women candidates are in the fray in the three phased 9th Assembly election.

However, there was not a single woman candidate in the 10 Assembly constituencies of Thoubal district which went to polls in the first phase together with Ukhrul and Senapati yesterday.

Nevertheless, two fair gender contestants were in the ring at 43 Phungyar A/C of Ukhrul district and 51 Saitu A/C of Senapati district in their attempt to make a foray into the traditionally male dominated profession of electoral politics.

Imphal West district which goes to polls in the second phase along with Imphal East and Bishnupur district on February 14 has 7 women candidates.

A lone woman is contesting in all the constituencies of Imphal East district.

The third phase of polls will see two women candidates from among all the constituencies of Churachandpur, Tamenglong and Chandel.

The two women candidates who sought people's mandate in the first phase of polling were Rose Mangshi Haokip (BJP) in 51 Saitu A/C and Valley Rose Hungyo (NNP) in 43 Phungyar A/C.Though Rose Mangshi Haokip was a Professor by profession, she is known more as a social worker and a human rights activist.

She was also president of the Kuki Mothers' Association.

Valley Rose Hungyo is the editor of Tangkhul daily Aza.

Besides being a gritty woman editor, Valley Rose is also a noted social activist.

She belongs to Sorde village under Phungyar A/C.Valley Rose is no more a novice in the field of electoral politics.

She had contested parliamentary elections in the past.

She withdrew in the last minute in the previous parliamentary elections too.

The lone woman candidate of Imphal East district Mutum Babita (MPP) has made all preparations for a show down with her male counter parts in 2-Heingang A/C.Babita of Heingang Makha Leikai was Adhyaksha of Imphal East Zilla Parishad.

As such, she is not a new face in electoral politics.

Though Babita was elected to Zilla Parishad on several occasions, this is the first time she is contesting the Assembly elections.

In Imphal West district, an unprecedented seven women candidates are vying for membership in the 60 member Legislative Assembly.

At Langthabal A/C where seasoned MPP leader O Joy is seeking re-election, two women candidates are also in the fray.

They are Dr Naorem Rebika d/o of late N Tombi who fought with O Joy on two occasions earlier and Loitongbam Tilotama.

Rebika is an NCP candidate while Tilotama is being fielded by Congress party.

Even though Dr Rebika is a novice in politics, Tilotama has been associated with electoral politics since a long time back.

She was also the president of Manipur Pradesh Youth Congress Committee.

Sitting MLA Wahengbam Leima (INC) is also seeking re-election in 21-Naoriya Pakhanglakpa A/C.She was elected in the previous two Assembly elections.

She was the lone woman in the SPF Ministry.

Another woman candidate with a thorough knowledge of electoral politics is AK Mirabai (INC) in 19 Patsoi A/C.She is fighting with MPP president Dr L Chandramani and sitting MLA Nabadweep (CPI).

This is the third time Mirabai is contesting Assembly elections.

She is the vice-president of MPCC.

Though a new face in State politics, Lairenjam Sumatibala (CPI) is facing L Ibomcha (MPP) and L Jayentakumar in 12 Keishamthong A/C.Undeterred by defeat on the previous occasion, Thokchom Manishang (BJP) is trying her luck this time too with full optimism in 18 Konthoujam A/C.Moirangmayum Tombi (BJP) would be testing the mettle of the likes of former Chief Minister Wahengbam Nipamacha (RJD), Y Mani (MSCP) and Sagolsem Achouba (INC) in 22 Wangoi A/C.The most widely known woman contestant in the political scene of the State is ex-MP Kim Gangte, contesting this time under CPI ticket in Henglep A/C.Her popularity rests on being a social activist though she was a lecturer by profession.

Another woman candidate in the same Assembly segment is Tinkhonei Haokip of RJD.