Imphal | Jagran Politics Desk: Manipur, one of the crucial states in the northeast, will go into polls early next year to elect 60 members of the legislative assembly. Currently, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) under the leadership of N Biren Singh is in power in Manipur.

In the previous elections in 2017, the BJP had ended the 15-year Congress rule in Manipur by ousting the grand old party from power. The saffron party, which generally banks on the favourable image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to continue its influence over the voters, would look to keep Congress out of power by winning its second consecutive term in Manipur next year.

On Friday, BJP national president JP Nadda had expressed hopes that the BJP will return to power in Manipur as the present government in the state has initiated "innovation, infrastructure and integration" by removing the previous Congress government's "instability, insurgency and inequality".

"Manipur government headed by Chief Minister N Biren Singh has established peace. Earlier, during the Congress government, blockades continued for months and year after year, now there is no blockade and fear among the people," Nadda said, as reported by news agency IANS.

"Nearly 1,039 militants surrendered and as part of the crusade against drugs, 11,600 acres of land was made free from the cultivation of various drugs."

While the BJP is hoping to retain the power in Manipur, Congress has also increased its efforts to woo the voters to return to power in the state. Besides Congress, the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) - following its landslide victory in the West Bengal assembly elections 2021 - is also preparing to take on the BJP in Manipur.

As the BJP, Congress and the TMC prepare for Manipur assembly elections 2022, here's a look at how political parties performed in the state in the previous polls in 2017:

In 2017, the Congress with 28 seats (35.1 per cent vote share) had emerged as the single-largest party in the 60-member Manipur assembly. The grand old party, as per the data provided by the Election Commission of India (ECI), received over 5.82 lakh votes.

However, the BJP had formed the government with 21 seats (36.3 per cent vote share) by sealing an alliance with Naga People's Front (4 seats, 7.2 per cent vote share), National People's Party (4 seats, 5.1 per cent vote share) and Lok Janshakti Party (1 seat, 2.5 per cent vote share).

As per the EC, the BJP got over 6 lakh votes while its allies NPF, NPP and LJP received 1.18 lakh, 83,000 and 42,000 votes respectively. The TMC, however, had performed miserably, winning just one seat with a 1.4 per cent vote share. It only received just 23,000 votes, as per the EC data.

Will BJP be able to retain power in Manipur?

The BJP is confident that it would be able to retain power in Manipur. It should be noted that Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United (JDU) - an NDA partner - will also contest the polls this time.

Though the BJP might face a stiff challenge in Manipur, it is expected that the NDA alliance will manage to retain power in the northeast state. As per the ABP-CVoter survey, the BJP will retain Manipur, winning 32 to 36 seats, while the Congress is expected to win around 18 to 22 seats.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma