The Congress has taken an early lead in 16 and the Naga People’s Front (NFP) in one of Manipur’s 60 assembly seats, counting for which began 8am on Tuesday. Unofficial reports, however, said the party bagged one seat seat besides leading in 11 others while others were leading in three.
Trends available after the first round of counting at 9am saw Congress candidates in four constituencies comfortably leading their rivals by a minimum 1,000 votes. These candidates are K Devendro Singh (Sekmai seat), Md Abdul Nasir (Lilong), T Debenda (Jiribam) and O Landhoni (Khangabok). In Karong seat, tribal affairs minister (Congress) DD Thaisii was trailing behind his Naga People’s Front candidate Alexander Pao.
Landhoni is the wife of chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh, who unofficial sources said was leading handsomely in his pet Thoubal seat, as was senior minister N Biren in Heingang constituency.
Unofficial reports also said the Congress’ Charltonlien Amo, a former MLA, won the Churachandpur seat. The confirmation was awaited.
The Congress had in 2007 won 30 seats and had formed a coalition government with the CPI, which had won four seats. The CPI parted ways with the Congress before the January 28 election and had joined an opposition grand alliance three days before counting.