279 candidates to contest Manipur assembly elections

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Manipur
Imphal, Jan 15: Two hundred and seventy nine candidates are in the fray for the January 28 Manipur assembly polls after scrutiny and withdrawal of papers by contestants, election officials said today.

Altogether 298 candidates had filed nomination papers till the January 11 deadline. The candidature of eight aspirants was rejected during scrutiny the following day, while 11 candidates withdrew their papers yesterday, they said.

The main parties who have put up candidates in the polls are Congress (60), Trinamool Congress (48), Manipur State Congress Party (31), CPI (24), NCP (22), BJP (19) and Manipur People's Party (14) among others. Prominent candidates in the fray include Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh contesting (Thoubal constituency), former vice chancellor of Manipur university Ng Bijoy (Khurai) and Forest Minister Th Debendra (Jiribam).

Official sources said all the candidates have been provided adequate security, including paramilitary forces, to enable them to campaign for the elections. In view of the threat from insurgents, the candidates were asked not to campaign at night. Urging the people to cast their votes without fear, Chief Electoral Officer P C Lawmkunga said, "We are satisfied that people welcome the elections and want to exercise their franchise."

PTI

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