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LS Polls: Hectic preparations underway for Amit Shah’s visit to Tripura, Manipur on April 15

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Agartala/Imphal, April 13:  Hectic preparations are underway ahead of Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s much-expected visit to Manipur and Tripura on Monday to campaign for the Lok Sabha elections.

BJP sources said that the Home Minister would arrive in Tripura on Monday (April 15) morning and after addressing an election rally in northern Tripura’s Kumarghat, he would fly to Imphal.

A senior BJP leader said that the Kumarghat election rally would cover the Tripura East Lok Sabha seat, reserved for the tribals.

A BJP leader in Imphal said that Home Minister Shah, one of the star campaigners of the ruling BJP, would address an election rally at the Hapta Kangjeibung ground in Imphal East district on Monday afternoon.

Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh and other BJP leaders are also likely to address the gathering.

“People from both Lok Sabha constituencies (Inner Manipur and Outer Manipur) would attend the public rally. Leaders of our ally Naga People’s Front (NPF) would also attend the election meeting,” the leader said.

After addressing the election rally, the Union Home Minister would hold a meeting with the Chief Minister, state BJP President Adhikarimayum Sharda Devi and other senior party leaders.

Union Home Minister Shah’s Monday rally would be the first such major election event in Manipur as due to over 11 months long ethnic strife, no political party has so far organised any kind of election rally in the trouble-torn state.

The campaigns of all political parties are extremely subdued with the leaders mostly using social and traditional media to ventilate their views, statements, commentaries and appeal.

The leaders of different political parties, both ruling and opposition, are trying to involve various organisations and civil societies to undertake campaigns for their party candidates.

After violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, the Union Home Minister visited the state for four days from May 29 to June 1 last year and held a series of meetings with top officials, politicians, NGOs, before announcing a slew of measures to deal with the ethnic violence between the Meitei and Kuki-Zomi communities.

Elections in Manipur’s two Lok Sabha seats will be held in two phases.

Six candidates are contesting in Inner Manipur seat while four candidates are in the fray in the Outer Manipur seat, reserved for the tribals.

The Inner Manipur seat will go to the polls in the first phase on April 19 along with some parts of the Outer Manipur constituency (15 assembly segments). The remaining parts of Outer Manipur (13 assembly segments) will vote in the second phase on April 26.

The BJP has fielded state education minister Thounaojam Basanta Kumar Singh in Inner Manipur and extended support to the Naga People’s Front nominee K Timothy Zimik in the Outer Manipur seat, reserved for the tribals.

The opposition Congress-led 10-party INDIA bloc has put up Angomcha Bimol Akoijam for the Inner Manipur seat while Alfred Kanngam S. Arthur has been fielded in Outer Manipur (ST).

Voting would be held in Tripura West and Tripura East Parliamentary constituencies on April 19 and April 26 respectively.

In total, 18 candidates, including two women, are contesting the two Lok Sabha seats.

However, the main contest is expected to be between the BJP and the INDIA bloc, comprising the Congress, CPI(M) and six other parties.

IANS

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