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Ibobi Kicks Off Poll Campaign

IMPHAL, Feb. 5: Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh today kicked off his party’s poll campaign not only for the February 14 Konthoujam Assembly by-election but also for the Assembly election, which will be held in a year’s time.

‘This is not only an election for Konthoujam constituency but also a test of the state Assembly election and our Congress party. The results of this constituency will be indicative of the shape of things to come after the forthcoming Assembly election,’ Ibobi Singh told a party rally at Konthoujam ground in Imphal West after hoisting the party flag at the residence of party candidate Sapam Ranjan at Konthoujam Awang Leikai.

Ranjan, a doctor, has been fielded by the Congress, which heads the Secular Progressive Front ministry, following the death of his father Sapam Budhichandra Singh who was the Speaker.

He is locked in a triangular contest. Three candidates are in the fray for the by-election.

The main contender is Konthoujam Ranjit, nominated by the Manipur unit of the Trinamool Congress and backed by Opposition MPP and the BJP. The third is Independent candidate K. Sarat, a former college lecturer.

The Congress, which is gunning for a third consecutive term, took advantage of today’s flag-hoisting program to flex its muscles.

Nearly 5,000 people gathered at the public rally at huge Konthoujam ground.

A large number of supporters brought athenpots (presents) to the rally venue. Athenpot presentation is a tradition in Manipur, which shows unflinching support to the person receiving the gifts.

Most of the ministers, PCC president Gaikhangam, MLAs and senior party leaders were present at the rally.

‘Congress is the only party that could give a stable and progressive government in Manipur. Other candidates changed flags every election. We will not let down the people,’ Ibobi Singh said.

Gaikhangam, irrigation and flood control minister N. Biren Singh and agriculture minister N. Loken Singh also spoke on the occasion.

(Courtesy: Telegraph India)

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