Nearly 35,000 security personnel, including 280 paramilitary forces, have been deployed in Manipur for the upcoming assembly election following threat from militant outfits.
Polling for the 60-member assembly will be held on January 28. Two hundred and seventy nine candidates are in the fray, election officials said on Sunday. The main parties who have put up candidates in the polls are Congress (60), Trinamool Congress (48), Manipur State Congress Party (31), CPI (24), NCP (22), BJP (19) and Manipur People's Party (14) among others.
All candidates have been provided adequate security to enable them to campaign for the elections. In view of the threat from insurgents, the candidates have been asked not to campaign at night.
Urging people to cast their votes without fear, chief electoral officer PC Lawmkunga said, “We are satisfied that people welcome the elections and want to exercise their franchise.”
The paramilitary forces will work in tandem with the state police force. Police personnel from the neighbouring states will also arrive in the next few days, officials said.
Seven major insurgent organisations, which had formed a coordination committee, have been threatening Congress candidates and its workers by exploding bombs and grenades since January 8.
More than four persons have been injured and cars and houses destroyed during the explosions for which the groups have claimed responsibility.
In a statement on Saturday, the committee said no party should form pre-poll or post-poll alliance with the Congress, and if they did, they would meet the “same fate” as Congress.