IMPHAL, Jan 16 � A total of 17,40,819 electorate including 8,89,497 females will decide the fate of 279 candidates including 14 woman candidates for the 60 seats in the Manipur Assembly polls on January 28.
Congress has fielded candidates in all the 60 seats while All India Trinamool Congress and Manipur State Congress Party have fielded 47 and 27 candidates respectively. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) had fielded 22 candidates, CPI 23, BJP 19, Manipur People�s Party 14, Naga People�s Front (NPF) 12, JD (U) 11, CPI(M) 2.
On the last of withdrawal of the candidature on Saturday, 11 candidates including former Minister and NCP candidate Md Maniruddin Sheikh have withdrawn their nomination papers.
There are 14 women candidates of whom 10 are from the four valley districts and four from four hill districts while there are not less than 15 candidates under the age of 40. The lone woman legislator O Landhoni, wife of Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, is contesting on a Congress ticket for the second time from her native Khangabok seat in Thoubal district. There were just six women candidates in the last Assembly polls.
Three Assembly constituencies will witness straight contests � Kakching, Karong and Moirang.
Five sitting MLAs � Thangminlien Kipgen (Kangpokpi), Morung Makunga (Tengnoupal), Dr Khashim Ruivah(Chingai),M Thorii (Mao) and Md Helaluddin (Lilong) did not file their nominations papers.
Manifesto: The two major pre-poll alliance partners of the recently formed People�s Democratic Front (PDF) � NCP and Manipur People�s Party (MPP) have released their manifestoes here on Sunday.
In their manifestoes, both the alliance partners stand for the State�s territorial integrity and communal harmony, repeal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, solution of insurgency problem, re-introduction of Inner Line Permit, good governance, peace and development.
Releasing NCP�s manifesto, former Lok Sabha Speaker and party�s General Secretary PA Sangma said, �There are so many problems in Manipur which the Congress could not solve in the last so many years. So, we thought the likeminded regional and national parties must come together and rescue the State from all these problems as we single handedly cannot give an alternative,�. He added, �We hope, if we fight together, we can give a viable alternative government in Manipur.�
Sangma, who was here to campaign for the party, was speaking to the media here on Sunday.