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Manipur Assembly Elections: Congress sends central observers ahead of results

The Congress high command has sent a central team of observers, including Chhattisgarh health minister TS Deo, to Manipur. The team also comprises of Congress general secretary Mukul Wasnik, Imran

The Congress high command has sent a central team of observers, including Chhattisgarh health minister TS Deo, to Manipur. The team also comprises of Congress general secretary Mukul Wasnik, Imran Kidwai, and Meghalaya MP Vincent Pala.

The team has been sent ahead of the counting of votes on Thursday to “motivate” all its 53 candidates to stay together if there is a fractured mandate.

Prior to the elections, all the party candidates were made to swear in the name of God not to switch sides if they win. Deo, who arrived yesterday, told the media that Congress was not scared of but well aware of its practice of manipulating. Deo said that last time twenty-eight Congress candidates had won and yet BJP formed the government with help from among the 28 Congress candidates.

The appointment of special observers is part of the Congress strategy to work out government formations in states where no party gets a clear majority.

The sources said plans are also afoot in the party to shift its newly-elected legislators to a safe location in Congress-ruled states of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.

Party leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is also learnt to have seen the arrangements in place for its legislators in the desert state in case they need to be shifted there.

The sources said the MLAs will be kept at “safe locations” to prevent what they said “possible attempts by others to poach them”.

The Congress is not taking any chances this time as had been done during the last Goa elections when despite emerging as the single largest party, it failed to form its government there.

BJP had finished second with 21 seats five years ago in Manipur and yet formed its first government in the state with a last-minute alliance with NPP, NPF and others. In last five years, 42% of Congress legislators in the state have switched over to BJP.

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First Published: 9th March, 2022 13:01 IST

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