Manipur: BJP workers burn effigies, ransack party offices to protest ticket disbursal

Imphal, Jan 30 (PTI) Angry BJP workers of Manipur on Sunday burnt effigies of Chief Minister N Biren Singh and the state unit president Sharda Devi as well as flags, even as they ransacked local offices and shouted slogans against the ruling party’s list of assembly poll candidates which featured defectors from the Congress ignoring many loyalists.

Security was beefed up at all BJP offices throughout the state following the violence which erupted after the candidate list was announced, official sources said.

Several BJP leaders including those who were aspirants for party tickets but were left out to accommodate recent defectors also resigned from the primary membership of the party.

Angry workers at Sagolband, Kakching, Moirang, Keisamthong assembly constituencies burnt party flags, pamphlets, ransacked local offices, and shouted slogans to show their dissent.

At Thanga, workers burnt effigies of the chief minister and the state BJP president, after former Trinamool Cong MLA T Robindro who had won in 2017 elections but later joined the saffron party was selected to contest the polls.

Former minister Nimaichand Luwang and first-time aspirant Thangjam Arunkumar who had sought BJP tickets for Wangkhem and Wangkhei assembly segments respectively tendered their resignation from the primary membership of the party. Thangjam later joined the JD(U).

BJP activists claimed all members of Khangabok Mandal tendered mass resignation citing “recent award of BJP ticket to a party newbie,” neglecting a leader who had sacrificed for BJP for almost two decades.

At Sagolband, protesters berated the BJP leadership for giving a ticket to former Congress MLA RK Imo who had joined the party in November last year, claiming their candidate and his workers who had been supporting the BJP for 10 years were overlooked.

Meanwhile, SSB personnel in full riot gear and state security forces are maintaining vigil at the BJP head office, Thambal Sanglen, at the centre of Imphal town.

The Bhartiya Janata Party which managed to form a government in 2017 despite having just 21 seats compared to Congress’s 28 by joining hands with two local parties NPP and NPF says it is looking to win two-thirds of the seats in the elections to be held in two phases on February 27 and March 3.

It will be contesting all 60 seats as Naga People’s Front (NPF) has fallen out with it, while it has decided not to enter into any pre-poll alliance with the National People’s Party (NPP) with which it also has an alliance in Meghalaya.