IMPHAL, March 6 - The main contenders for power in Manipur � Congress and opposition BJP today made last ditch efforts to sway voters prior to the end of campaign for the second and last phase of Assembly elections on March 8 in 22 constituencies.
Though both Congress and BJP claim to form the next government in Manipur, Left and Democratic Front Manipur comprising State units of CPI, CPI (Marxist), JD(United), Aam Aadmi Party, NCP and Manipur National Democratic Front also claimed that no government is possible in the State without a role for the Front.
An hour before the expiry of poll campaign, Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president TN Haokip told reporters here that Congress will be forming the next government for another five years for fulfilling the commitments made in the last elections. Several Congress candidates attended the press conference.
�We will be fulfilling the commitment this time,� he said while displaying the party�s manifesto which promises drinking water to all households by 2022.
Expecting at least 23 or 24 seats out of 38 seats from the first phase polling on March 4, the Congress chief said that they are confident of winning at least 40 seats (including 16 or 17 in the second phase).
BJP has fielded candidates in all the 60 seats, but Congress, which won 42 seats in 2012 Assembly polls, has fielded candidates in 59 seats.
Stating that even though BJP is in power in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, it will not be possible here as Manipur is Manipur, Haokip said the high turn out of voters in the first phase poll indicates that the people wants to fight back the �divisive forces�.
However, BJP leader and Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, one of the party�s star campaigners in Manipur poll, felt that the record turn out is �significant.� He claimed that BJP will surely form the next government in the State. BJP will get 25 plus out of 38 seats in the first phase followed by a good number in second phase too, he added while speaking to media prior to his departure for Guwahati.