By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Jan 21: Altogether 11 individuals including Sword Vashum who quit BJP recently have applied for Congress tickets to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha election.
Of the 11 individuals who have applied for Congress tickets till date, six are in Inner Manipur PC and the other five in Outer Manipur PC.
Meanwhile, the last date for obtaining application forms for Congress tickets has been extended from January 22 to 31 (till 2 pm) and filled in forms can be submitted till 5 pm of the same day. The Congress party has issued an order to this effect today, sources informed.
The six individuals who have obtained application forms from Congress party in Inner Manipur PC are sitting MP Dr Thokchom Meinya, former Minister Okram Joy, ex-MLA Ngairangbam Bijoy, Sarangthem Manaobi (Khoirenthaba), Mairenbam Bishorjit and Ningombam Bhupendra Meitei.
The contenders, as of now, for Congress ticket in Outer Manipur PC are Sword Vashum, KS Ngaite (Senapati), James Kashung (Kamjong), P Jangkhomang (Chandel) and Lalkholam Hangsing (Kangpokpi).
As per the general procedure, MPCC would recommend names of probable candidates from amongst the ticket applicants and the AICC would announce the two candidates whom they think have best chances of winning the election, said the sources.
Saying that sitting MP Dr T Meinya is highly respected within AICC, the sources said that Dr Meinya has a fair chance of getting a Union Cabinet berth in case he is re-elected and UPA returns to power.
70 years old Dr Meinya has many years to remain active in electoral politics if he wishes. Moreover, there is no allegation of bribery or corruption against him so far.
But many people have been saying that Dr Meinya’s performance is not satisfactory although he has been elected to the Lok Sabha for three consecutive terms. If AICC must give the party ticket to another man, he/she must be more qualified/competent than Dr Meinya. The Congress party has been seeking public opinion on Dr Meinya’s alternative from each and every Assembly segment, said the sources.
AICC may give party tickets to two of the applicants from amongst the names recommended by MPCC and the AICC may also choose candidates from outside MPCC’s recommendations. In short, the sole authority of selecting candidates lies in the hands of the AICC.
On the other hand, ruling BJP is dogged by several factors such as failure to resolve Naga issue, proposal to bifurcate Nagaland, failure to fulfil promises made before the last election and passage of CAB 2016, said the sources.
Altogether nine Assembly segments located within Thoubal and Kakching districts are located within Outer Manipur PC and there are around two lakh voters in these Assembly segments. Many political analysts said that Okram Ibobi who ruled the State for 15 years will have a big say in these nine Assembly segments and in most Lok Sabha elections, these Assembly segments often turn out to be the deciding factor.
It is said that Congress party may give the party’s ticket to a Naga candidate in Outer Manipur PC. The sources said that ex-MLA Victor Keishing (Phungyar) is likely to join the race for Congress ticket in Outer Manipur PC.
As for sitting Lok Sabha MP Thangso Baite, he has already taken a decision not to fight the election if he is not given party ticket, added the sources.
By Our Staff Reporter