Imphal: Postal Ballots for Absentee Voters, with which Senior Citizens and PwDs can cast their votes at their homes, has been introduced for the first time in the ensuing 12th State Assembly Elections, said 18-Konthoujam AC Returning Officer Samson Huidrom.
Appealing to the 303 electors eligible for Absentee Voters (80+ and PwD) in his constituency to grab the opportunity, he said, they should not waste their votes, as every vote counts.
The RO said polling teams will visit the homes of the every Absentee Voters in the constituency on two occasions. The first round of visits will start from 8 am of February 21 and continue till February 22. For those who missed the first round, a second trip will be made by the teams on February 25, he said.
Samson said Konthoujam AC has been a relatively peaceful constituency with a high voter turnout in the previous elections. The constituency, which has no expenditure sensitive pocket, had recorded 92.68 percent voter turnout in the 2017 Assembly election. The constituency is divided into 4 sectors where 164 polling officials will be utilized for the election.
Konthoujam Assembly Constituency has a total of 29,732 electors including 14,497 male and 15,229 female electors. There are 475 electors above 80 and three 100+ electors, he said, adding that the constituency also has six transgender electors and 298 PwD electors.
Polling Station 18/18, with 1039 has the highest number of electors and is also the home polling station of two candidates. Polling Station 18/11 with just 305 electors has the lowest number of electors. Polling Stations 18/15 and 18/16 in Yurembam High School have been identified as Model cum Women Polling Stations.
18-Konthoujam AC has five candidates in fray for the ensuing election. They are NPP candidate Konthoujam Sharat Singh, NCP candidate Khoirom Binarani Devi, INC candidate Laishram Nando Singh, JD(U) candidate Nongmaithem Herojit Singh and sitting MLA and BJP candidate Dr.Sapam Ranjan Singh.
In 18-Konthoujam Assembly Constituency, Manipur People’s Party candidate Khangembam Lakshman defeated Thangjam Babu of the CPI in the 1st State Assembly Election, 1972. However, Lakshman faced defeat in the hands of Independent candidate Heigrujam Thoithoi Singh in the 1974 General Election.
Henam Lokhon, one of the most successful candidates in the constituency, defeated CPI candidate Thangjam Babu and Independent candidate Heigrujam Thoithoi Singh in the 1980 and 1984 elections, respectively. Lokhon fought the 1980 elections as the Indian National Congress (Indira) candidate and 1984 elections on an INC ticket.
MPP’s Heigrujam Thoithoi, who lost the 1984 elections as an independent candidate, broke INC’s sitting MLA Lokhon’s winning streak by defeating him in the 1990 elections.
However, Lokhon returned stronger and won the next two consecutive elections in 1995 and 2000 defeating sitting MLA Thoithoi and CPI candidate Nongmaithem Joykumar, respectively. Henam Lokhon contested the 2000 elections as the Manipur State Congress Party candidate.
In 2002, teacher turned politician, Dr.Thokchom Meinya contesting as a candidate of newly formed Democratic Revolutionary People’s Party defeated four-time MLA Henam Lokhon, who contested the election on a MSCP ticket.
In the 2004 bye-polls for the Assembly Constituency, Dr.Sapam Budhichandra Singh of the INC defeated MPP’s Konthoujam Ranbir Singh. Dr.Budhichandra retained the seat winning the 9th Manipur Legislative Assembly Elections, 2007 defeating Konthoujam Sharat Singh of the Nationalists People’s Party.
Following the demise of the sitting MLA Dr. Budhichandra in September 2010, a bye-poll was held for the constituency in February 2011. Dr.Sapam Ranjan Singh, son of MLA Dr. Budhichandra, contested the bye-poll on an INC ticket but lost to Konthoujam Sharat of AITC.
Sharat retained the seat in the 2012 General Elections defeating INC’s Dr. Ranjan again.
In the 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly Elections, 2017, Dr.Ranjan contested as the BJP candidate and defeated sitting MLA Konthoujam Sharat, who contested as the INC candidate.