Social activist-turned-politician Irom Sharmila lost to Congress leader and state CM Okram Ibobi Singh from Thoubal constituency in Manipur. As Manipur witnessed the second and the final phase of the Assembly polls on March 8.
After an encouraging 87 per cent voter turnaround in the first phase of the elections, both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress went on full throttle with campaigning for the second and the last phase of elections. While the ruling Congress tried its best to retain governance in the state, BJP on the other hand did every bit to reach out to the minority voters including Manipuri Muslims. The minority sections constitute about 10 per cent of the state’s 19 lakh electorates. Out of the 22 seats that will go to polls in the second phase, Muslim votes are going to influence at least 6 of these constituencies in the Thoubal district alone.
The state has seen a hectic poll season with many star campaigners from major parties addressing multiple rallies and roadshows. There were also some bitter exchange of words between the Congress and BJP over the ongoing economic blockade in the state.
Thoubal is constituency No. 31 of Manipur legislative assembly. It is situated in Thoubal district and is an open constituency.
Number of voters
As per the Election Commission data, Thoubal has a total of 27,728 registered voters out of which 14,190 are male and 13,538 are female registered voters.
What are the key issues
Economic growth, education and employment are some major issues in this constituency.
Who was the winner last time
During the 2012 Assembly elections, Congress won this constituency by a huge margin of 15,453 votes. Okram Ibobi Singh who won from Congress bagged 19,121 votes followed by Suresh Chand Jain of BJP who got just 3,668 votes. The voter turnout was 63.77 per cent.
Who are the competing candidates
Okram Ibobi Singh (Congress), Leitanthem Basanta Singh (BJP), Leishangthem Suresh Singh (AITC) and Irom Sharmila Chanu (PRJA).
Why is this constituency important?
Thoubal district has been a bastion for Congress from the past 15 years, but it will be interesting to see voters’ mood as the activist-turned politician Irom Sharmila is taking on the incumbent CM Ibobi Singh.