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Son Of Ex-Speaker To Contest By-Election

IMPHAL, Jan. 14: Sapam Ranjan, a doctor, is expected to step into the shoes of his father Sapam Budhichandra, a former Speaker of the Manipur Assembly, who died after a brief illness.

The by-election for Konthoujam seat in Imphal West, which was left vacant after Budhichandra’s death, will be held on February 14, at the fag end of the present term of the Assembly. Budhichandra died on September 30.

The chief electoral officer, Manipur, P.C. Lawmkunga, issued a statement on January 12, announcing that the bypoll would be held on February 14.

The notification for the bypoll will be issued on January 21, the last date for nominations is January 28, scrutiny will be held on January 29 and the last date for withdrawal of nominations is January 31. The bypoll process will be completed by February 21.

Congress sources said Ranjan’s chances of getting the party ticket for the bypoll were very high. He is now serving in a private clinic here. He will be the fourth in the line of sitting MLAs‘ sons, who have contested bypolls in after their fathers’ deaths.

The first to step into his father’s shoes was Th. Lokeshore, who contested the bypoll in Khundrakpam constituency in Imphal East, after the death of his father, Th. Nabakumar Singh of the NCP. However, Lokeshwar contested and won on Congress ticket.

M. Prithviraj Singh of Moirang constituency in Bishnupur district became a Congress MLA after his father M. Manindra Singh died.

E. Suraj, became a Congress member following the demise of his father E. Kunjeshore, also a Congress MLA.

Another candidate expected to be in the fray for the bypoll is Konthoujam Sarat. He had finished second in the last Assembly election and is expected to be the main contender. He is yet to choose a party this time.

As the bypoll will be held only a few months ahead of the Assembly elections, the ruling Congress will be considering it a warm-up exercise. Moreover, the party is far ahead of others in preparing for the polls. The Assembly election is expected later this year or early next year.

The CPI, a coalition partner in the government, and the Opposition parties are yet to decide on contesting the elections. The CPI executive committee met yesterday and suggested a third front for the bypolls. The party has not decided whether it will put up candidates or not. The main Opposition, Manipur Peoples Party, has decided not to contest and to extend support to a non-Congress candidate.

(Courtesy: Telegraph India)

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