UKHRUL, May 16 � Political parties in Manipur have stepped up campaigning for the June 1 elections to the six Autonomous District Councils (ADCs) in the Congress-ruled State.
Most of the hill towns in Manipur including Ukhrul, a Tangkhul tribe dominated hill station, about 84 kms from Imphal, is gripped with poll fever with flags and buntings of political parties fluttering on the streets. Decorated vehicles have been pressed into service in the campaign.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidates � Ameithemchui Raiping and Willy YR kicked off their campaigns for the Teinem and Shanshak District Council constituencies at Tashar and Dungrei Hunpung villages in Ukhrul district recently. They told The Assam Tribune of their plan to develop their areas and further wanted to give priority to �weaker sections�.
Though Congress is the ruling party in the State, the campaign of the party was at a low key in comparison to NPF and BJP. A simple blessing ceremony of the youngest Congress candidate Zingsiphi Ragui (27) was held at her Awontang locality.
The ruling Congress, BJP and the Naga Peoples Front (NPF) are the three main contenders for the 144 seats of the six ADCs of Senapati, Sadar Hills, Ukhrul, Tamenglong, Chandel and Churachandpur districts.
BJP has the highest number of candidates (121) while Congress has fielded 97 candidates. NPF has put up 86 candidates while 217 Independents and 14 others are also in the fray, as per unofficial reports. Meanwhile, six Congress candidates, NPF (3) and BJP (1) have reportedly won their respective seats uncontested.
In the last ADC polls held in June 2010, ruling Congress had won 106 seats while CPI got one out of 144 seats.