Outer Manipur voters divided along religious lines | india | Hindustan Times
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Outer Manipur voters divided along religious lines

india Updated: Apr 13, 2009 13:01 IST

Voters are spoilt for a choice in the Outer Manipur Lok Sabha constituency where as many as nine candidates are in fray.

In reality, though, the fight for the April 16 election is practically among Thangso Baite of Congress, Loli Adanee of BJP and Mani Cheranamei of People's Democratic Alliance. The last named is also a sitting MP.

The electorate in the tribal-inhabited constituency are sharply divided on ethnic lines. More than 30 different tribes, broadly divided under Nagas and Kukis, inhabit Manipur hill districts.

They speak different languages, but the lingua franca is Manipuri spoken by the majority Meiteis.

Also of importance in the valley districts is the question whether people would agree to breaking up of the state.

Cheranamei, a prominent Zeliang Naga candidate, who is allegedly backed by some Naga militants, told election meetings in Naga-majority Ukhrul district that he was fightiog the elections to make the Centre aware of the underdevelopment and backwardness of the tribes in the Northeast.

Cheranamei said that the upcoming election is concerned less with party politics and more with land (unification of Naga areas).

The other candidates contesting from this constituency include M Yamkhongam (RJD), Thangkhogin (Lok Janasakti) and Valley Rose, Rose Mangsi and Lamlalmoi Gangte (all independents).

Altogether 9,02,221 voters, including 4,62,947 female, would exercise their franchise at 1184 polling stations spread across four hill districts and eight assembly segments.

Election officials said polling personnel for far-flung hill stations for first phase polls would start leaving for their respective polling stations from Tuesday morning.