Cong to win 20 seats in NE: Manipur Cong chief

Sobhapati Samom

IMPHAL, Mar 25 – The Congress party will capture no less than 20 seats out of the 25 parliamentary seats in the Northeastern States including Sikkim in the ensuing Lok Sabha polls, president of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee Gaikhangam claimed today.

Speaking to a group of media persons at Congress Bhavan here today, the MPCC chief, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister of Manipur, also claimed that Congress will capture almost all the parliamentary seats in the NE except Nagaland, Tripura and about three to four seats in Assam.

Gaikhangam, who holds the Home portfolio in the Ibobi Ministry, said that the Congress will retain its parliamentary seats in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, and Mizoram. “Besides we will win both the Meghalaya seats (Shillong and Tura). We may lose two to three seats in Assam. Otherwise, we will get the highest number of seats,” he asserted. Unity and development will be the poll plank of the Congress in Manipur, he added.

Of the 25 seats in the region, 14 are in Assam, two each in Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh and one each in Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.

In 2009 Lok Sabha polls, Congress secured 13 seats including seven in Assam, two each from Arunachal and Manipur and one each from Mizoram and Meghalaya.

But BJP, which won four seats in Assam in the 2009 polls, is confident of securing 50 per cent of the seats in the NE this time, according to a leader of BJP Manipur Pradesh.

Ksh Shanta of CPI-M, which secured two seats in Tripura in 2009 polls, claimed that the Left parties are expecting around three-four seats from the NE region to form a Third Front at the Centre. “Left and like-minded parties such as Samajwadi Party, JD(U), AIADMK will get more seats as there is a multi-party contest in the country”, he pointed out. The Nationalist Congress Party secured one seat in Meghalaya, while the Asom Gana Parishad, All India United Democratic Front, Bodoland Peoples Front and Naga People’s Front (NPF) bagged one seat each.