Manipur political parties to announce candidates

Imphal: Two major political parties in Manipur today said they would announce the names of their candidates for the forthcoming next assembly polls on January 28 next, said sources in the parties today.

Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Gaikhangam told mediapersons that the party`s election committee would meet on January 2 to shortlist the candidates of the party for the forthcoming polls saying more than 166 aspirants had submitted their nomination forms for the 60-member Manipur assembly to contest the polls.

He said the meeting would short list the candidates considering their background and loyalty the party and forward it to the party high command for approval hoping that the party high command would approve it either on `January 5 or 6`. Gaikhangam said some sitting MLAs of non-congress parties had applied for the congress tickets for the forthcoming elections but it could not be immediately decided whether they could be given tickets or not because all depended on the decision of the party`s central leadership.

On the other hand, main opposition party, Manipur People`s Party (MPP) today said that it would also hold party election committee meeting on January 2 next to finalise the list of the candidates. Senior legislature wing leader O Joy said the party was likely to put up 15 candidates for the 60-member Manipur legislative assembly. Sources in the party said MPP along with Nationalist Congress Party, Janata Dal (United) and state unit of the Rashtriya Janata Dal had formed a pre-poll alliance for the forthcoming polls.

Political observers said the main contestants for the forthcoming polls would be between congress and the alliance of MPP, JD (U), NCP and RJD combine Joy told reporters that they the combine would fight on the polls on the issue of Manipur`s boundary, corruption, political conflict (insurgency and the government), misuse of drugs and identity of Manipuris.