NPP releases first list of 20 candidates for Manipur assembly polls, renominates 3 MLAs

Imphal/Shillong, Jan 24 (PTI) The National People’s Party on Monday announced its first list of 20 candidates for Manipur assembly elections with three sitting MLAs, including Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar Singh, contesting from their seats.

The party, which is currently in alliance with the BJP, is going it alone in the upcoming polls and has fielded candidates against its ally in all the seats it is contesting.

Y Joykumar Singh will again contest from his Uripok constituency, while NPP’s Manipur unit president L Jayantakumar Singh and N Kayisii will seek re-election from Keishamthong and Tadubi assembly segments respectively.

State Sports Minister Letpao Haokip, who had won from Chandel seat on an NPP ticket five years ago, joined the BJP in 2021.

“Three sitting MLAs are among the 20 candidates. Their names were recommended by an election management committee in Manipur and approved by Meghalaya Chief Minister and party chief Conrad K Sangma,” an NPP leader said in Shillong.

He also said, “The second list of party candidates for the Manipur polls is likely to be released soon as we are planning to contest in around 40 seats this time.”

Y Joykumar Singh had recently said the party has “no plans to make a post-poll alliance with other camps”.

The BJP had managed to form the government in 2017 despite having just 21 seats as compared to 28 of the Congress as the saffron camp joined hands with two regional parties -the NPP and the NPF.

The NPP had fielded its nominees in nine constituencies in the 2017 state polls and won four.

The 2022 elections to the 60-member Manipur assembly will be held on February 27 and March 3. The counting votes will be conducted on March 10.

Notably, the NPP had on January 23 released its election manifesto and promised that it would take initiatives for removal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1958 from Manipur. The party also stressed on protection of rights of indigenous people. PTI