Cong takes it all in Manipur
The results of the recently concluded Assembly elections in the five states of India -- Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur, and Uttarakhand was not less amusing than a full-blown circus.
In the one hand, anti-incumbency blew the whistle (in UP) while in the other, parties rode over the incumbency wave (in Punjab).
If nothing elsewhere, the Congress won Manipur with a two-third majority in the 60-member assembly. The Congress secured 42 seats, one more than the required 41 for two third majority in the troubled state.
Congress' sweeping victory in Manipur attributes to the parties work on rural development, roads, promise of stability in the state, considerable check on militancy, holding of autonomous council polls, attempts to bridge the tribal-non-tribal divide, and benefits derived out of highway blockades allegedly instigated by Naga rebels.
What didn't work out for the opposition in the state was the unconvincing alliance of divergent parties, failure to convey trust as opposition leaders, and Manipur’s experience with multi-party coalition disasters.
Ibobi Singh of Congress won over his nearest BJP rival O Indira in Thoubal seat with the highest margin of 15,453 where as, the lowest margin was of 17 between Maibam Kunjo of Trinamool Congress and his nearest Congress rival E Dweejamani Singh in Hiyanglam seat.
All in all, the sum of the matter -- fortunately or unfortunately boils down to money-- the ones with a pot of gold have somehow can aptly be called 'crorepati winners.'
Here's a list of the winners with the moolah power in Manipur:
TN Haokip (Congress, Saikot seat) – Rs 10.04 crore
Kh Govindas (Congress, Bishnupur) – Rs 2.49 crore
K Meghachandra (Congress, Wangkhem) – Rs 2.09 crore
Phungzathang Tonsing (Congress, Churachandpur) – Rs 2.08 crore
T Manga Vaiphei (Congress, Henglep) – Rs 1.89 crore
K Ranjit Singh (Congress, Sugnoo) – Rs 1.70 crore
T Shyamkumar (Trinamool, Andro) – Rs 1.65 crore
Moirangthem Okendro (Congress, Heirok) – Rs 1.64 crore
N Loken (Congres, Nambol) – Rs 1.57 crore
L Nandakumar Singh (Congress, Uripok) – Rs 1.28 crore
(10 of the 16 Manipur crorepatis who contested won)
Karam Shyam (Lok Janshakti Party) defeated Manipur People’s Party leader O Joy in Langthabal constituency.
Kh. Joykishang (Trinamool) defeated former chief minister Radhabinod Koijam of the NCP in Thangmiband constituency. Koijam in fact came third. Congress candidate Jotin Waikhom came second.
Alexander Pao (Naga People’s Front) defeated tribal affairs minister DD Thaisii of Congress in Karong constituency while Thamarjit Singh (Manipur State Congress Party) defeated rural development minister Alauddin Khan in Keirao constituency.
The prominent winners with constituencies were chief minister O Ibobi Singh (Congress), Thoubal constituency, his wife Landhoni Devi (Congress), Khangabok constituency, Y Erabot Singh (Congress), Wangkhei constituency; N Biren Singh (Congress), Heingang constituency;
Gaikhangam (Manipur PCC president), Nungba constituency.
LIKELY CHIEF MINISTERS
Name: Okram Ibobi Singh
Age: 64 years
Political career: Elected first as an Independent in 1984 and re-elected twice from his native Khangabok seat which he gifted to wife O Landhoni to represent the Thoubal seat. His two consecutive win in 2002 and 2007 polls was his turning point after he became PCC chief in 2001.
Positions held: Appointed as secretary Congress legislature party from February 1989 to February 1990. He was re-inducted as a minister in charge of industries in 1994-95. He was appointed as vice president of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee in 1995-96.
He was urban development (state) minister in mid-1980s and PCC president before he became second longest-serving Chief Minister of Manipur (from 2002 onward) after present Rajya Sabha MP Rishang Keishing.
Name: Y Erabot Singh
Political career: Among the five senior-most Congress legislators, Erabot has scored his sixth victory from the Wangkhei seat. He has been a die-hard Congressman except for a brief phase in 2002 when he was denied the party ticket. He won that election on an MSCP ticket but returned to Congress after 21 days.
Positions held: After winning his first election in 1980, Erabot became a minister of state in 1984. His firebrand nature has often made him a bête noire of those at the helm, and his run-ins with chief minister Ibobi Singh are legend. The commerce and industries minister in the Ibobi government, he defied security threats to escort trucks during highway blockades. He has also been more of an opposition leader in the House.