IMPHAL, Feb 17: In what could be a major political upturn in the state, the new entrant Trinamool Congress has secured a seat in Manipur Legislative Assembly with the victory of its candidate K. Sharat in the bye-election of Konthoujam assembly constituency which had only three candidates on the fray.
The Trinamool Congress candidate K. Sharat has won the election by a margin of 655 votes from his nearest rival Dr. S. Ranjan of INC. He secured a total of 9592 votes out of 22360 polled votes while Ranjan and independent candidate Kh. Ranjit secured 8937 and 3831 votes respectively.
Sharat topped in 15 of the 28 altogether polling stations of the constituency, namely 18/2 Moidangpok Khullen Part-II with 249 votes; 18/7 Ngairangbam with 324 votes; 18/8 Sagoltongba with 358 votes; 18/9 Sagoltongba with 341 votes; 18/10 Yurembam with 483 votes; 18/11 Yurembam Awang Leikai with 684 votes; 18/12 Konthoujam with 255; 18/15 Khaidem with 474 votes; 18/16 Khabi with 374 votes; 18/18 Yarou Bamdiar with 437 votes; 18/19 Heikrujam with 301 votes; 18/20 Heikrujam with 293 votes; 18/21 Maisnam Kamong with 387 votes; 18/22 Maisnam Kamong with 341 votes; and 18/26 Awang Phoijing Part-I with 435 votes.
While Ranjan ran first in 11 polling stations, namely 18/1 Moidangpok Khullen Part-I with 363 votes; 18/3 Moidangpok Khunou with 353 votes; 18/6 Ngairangbam with 324 votes; 18/13 Konthoujam Mamang Leikai with 492 votes; 18/14 Konthoujam Maning Leikai with 576 votes; 18/17 Khabi with 292 votes; 18/23 Kha Jiri Part-I with 307 votes; 18/24 Kha Jiri Part-II with 302 votes; 18/25 Awang Jiri with 371 votes; 18/27 Awang Phoijing with 422 votes; and 18/28 Langoijam Mamang Leikai with 432 votes.
On the other hand, Ranjit topped in two polling stations, namely 18/4 and 18/5 of Khumbong area. He secured 352 votes out of total 738 polled votes in his 18/4 home polling station and 360 votes out of 689 polled votes in 18/5 Khumbong.
It may be noted that Trinamool Congress candidate Sharat and INC candidate Ranjan share the same home polling station at 18/13 Konthoujam Mamang Leikai in which Ranjan topped by securing 492 votes out of total 862 polled votes while Sharat and Ranjit got 352 and 18 votes respectively.
No vote on postal ballot was recorded in favour of any candidate in this bye-election.
The counting process for the said bye-election was held today from 8 am onwards at the office of DC Imphal West at Lamphelpat amidst stringent security measures provided by CRPF and state security forces. The counting process concluded peacefully at around 11 am.
In the last general election to 9th Manipur Legislative Assembly held in 2007, eight candidates contested in Konthoujam assembly constituency in which (late) Dr. Sapam Budhichandra won the election from his nearest rival K. Sharat by a meager margin of 84 votes.
Budhichandra secured 5475 votes while Sharat got 5391 votes out of total 22926 polled votes in the last election. The other keen contenders of Konthoujam were Nongmaithem Kuber of NCP, Samom Nabakumar of MPP, Dr. Laishram Sashikumar of CPI, Heman Lokhon of RJD, Thokchom Manishang of BJP and Konthoujam Ranbira of SP.
Moreover, the Congress Party has been able to capture all seats in the previous bye-elections of Khundrakpam, Moirang and Yaiskul. But, the Congress failed to upkeep its legacy this time in the Konthoujam bye poll. This loss for the Congress will surely have drastic impact in the next general election of the state likely to be held in the early months of 2012.
In the meantime, the president of Manipur Pradesh Trinamool Congress, Kim Gangte has categorically stated that the lone MLA of Trinamool Congress will act as a responsible opposition to bring about a radical change in the state.
She asserted that the victory of Trinamool Congress in Konthoujam bye-election is an eye-opener for the people of Manipur who have been reeling under strong influence of money and muscle power of the Congress party during past elections.
The change has begun and the people should support the Trinamool Congress and other like-minded political parties to bring a revolutionary change in the state, Kim added.
The newly elected MLA of Konthoujam assembly constituency, K. Sharat stated that the victory of Trinamool Congress is the victory of the people who really wanted development and changes right from the grass-root level.
He said that as an elected representative of the people he would first give priority to development of local areas and delivery of PDS items to the people of the constituency who have been deprived of such benefits by the past MLAs for many decades.
Sharat also noted that there is no use of money and muscle power if the people themselves are conscious of the reality and vote for the right candidate to be their responsible representative.
The leaders of BJP and MPP have also congratulated the people of Konthoujam for their verdict at the bye-election.
The president of BJP Manipur State Unit, Sh. Shantikumar stated that the people of Konthoujam have taken the right decision to bring changes in the state by electing the Trinamool Comgress candidate K. Sharat. The victory is just the beginning of a new political era in the state with like-minded political parties forming a unified opposition against the Congress Party to bring real changes in the whole state.
The president of Manipur People`™s Party, Dr. Nimaichand Luwang said that the right time has come to uproot the Congress Party from the state. The verdict of Konthoujam foretells everything that will ensue in the political arena of the state.
The downfall of Congress Party and the SPF government has begun with their tactics of using money and muscle power failed to garner votes from the people of Konthoujam, he averred.