Imphal, Mar 7 : The ruling Indian National Congress (INC) in Manipur scored a hattrick after the party got an absolute majority in the Assembly election winning 42 seats including 14 in the five hills districts in the House of 60.
Surprisingly, the Trinamool Congress did well winning seven seats, while the Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP) that could not win a single seat in the last polls, also performed well, bagging five seats.
But the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Manipur People’s Party, major constituents of the opposition Progressive Democratic Alliance (PDA) comprising 11 non-Congress parties, could not fare well this time. In the last polls, CPI and MPP had four and five seats respectively.
Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh retained his native Thoubal seat defeating BJP candidate Oinam Indira by 15,453 votes. His wife O Landhoni retained the Khangabok seat defeating L Jatra Singh of MPP by 9,871 votes.
Senior ministers of the Ibobi ministry Th Debendra, Phungzathang Tonsing, Y Irabot and N Biren retained their Jiribam, Churachandpur, Wangkhei and Heingang seats respectively. Other notable winners included Th Lokeshwar, Manga Vaiphei, Dr N Bijoy, Victor Keishing and K Gobindas Konthoujam.
Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee president Gaikhangam retained the Nungba seat defeating his nearest NPF rival G Gaingam by 2,330 votes.
The biggest upset was defeat of opposition firebrand O Joy Singh of Manipur People’s Party (MPP). Joy lost his pet Langthabal seat to Karam Shyam of Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) by 1,032 votes, while his party president Dr Nimai Chand Luwang lost to K Meghchandra of Congress by a margin of 2956 votes.
Three ruling Congress ministers Jayentakumar, DD Thaisii and Md Allaudin lost to their respective rivals - L Ibomcha of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Keishamthong, Dr Alexander Pao of Naga People’s Front (NPF) in Karong and Karam Thamarjit of Manipur State Congress Party (MSCP) in Keirao.
In Nambol and Kshetrigao constituencies, the Congress victory came at the expense of heavyweights. While N Loken beat former union sports minister Thounaojam Chaoba Singh of Manipur People’s Party (MPP) to take Nambol, Md Amin Shah upset Nationalist Congress Party legislator Th Nandakishor Singh by 2,882 votes to take Kshetrigao.
The Trinamool Congress fared well winning seven seats. The party’s lone legislator in the previous Assembly, K Sarat Singh retained the Konthoujam seat by defeating his nearest Congress rival S Ranjan Singh.