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The Manipur elections are important for both national parties.

Meanwhile, a local woman Meira Paibis on Thursday staged protest against a bomb being placed at the office of Sagolband Development Association. But the BJP lacks a grassroots base in Manipur and largely comprises leaders who have defected from the Congress.

The path ahead looks far from rosy for the Congress due to resignations, the anti-incumbency factor and the warning from an outfit to tribal politicians not to contest on tickets of the Grand Old Party.

Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for mocking party vice-president Rahul Gandhi over his Imphal address, the Congress has called on the former to get his facts straight before taking jibes.

Rijiju, a Minister of Home for State, alleged that top officials of the Centre, who were sent to diffuse the situation there, were "surprised" to find that Singh, who had "forced" Naga groups to enforce the blockade, was "not interested" in lifting the blockade.

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The state has been saddled with an indefinite economic blockade since November 1, 2016, imposed by the United Naga Council, causing huge hardship to the people as the supply of essential commodities, especially fuel, in the land-locked state has choked. But Gandhi never made any comment about coconuts in Manipur, his party said.

"Modiji does not want people of Manipur and northeastern states to progress and participate in India's growth story".

The decision in early December 2016 by the Okram Ibobi Singh government to notify the formation of seven new districts, creating 16 districts in the State, was momentous. She said the Congress which has been in power for the last 15 years has a repeated manifesto for the ensuing polls.

Although a lot of issues are there, the mindset of the electorate will be known after the two-phase polls to be held on March 4 and 8, according to A Robindro Sharma, editor of Imphal-based Poknapham daily newspaper. Accordingly, BJP has focussed on highlighting corruption under the Ibobi government, while Congress has made the territorial integrity of Manipur its main poll plank.


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