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Political parties gear up for LS polls in Manipur
 IMPHAL, March 12 - With the announcement of the Lok Sabha poll dates, political parties in the Manipur have gone on an overdrive to finalise their candidates for the two seats in the State.

 Manipur will go to polls on April 11 and April 18. Election to the Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency (ST), which comprises 28 Assembly constituencies including eight valley constituencies, will be held on April 11. The Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency comprising 32 assembly constituencies, will go to polls on April 18.

There are more than a dozen ticket seekers of the State BJP unit for the two Manipur seats. The party is expected to form a State election committee in the next few days, sources said.

Once the State committee is formed, it will forward the names of aspiring candidates to the parliamentary board for the upcoming polls, the sources added.

Sources said half-a-dozen candidates including former Chief Minister Radhabinod Koijam and Th Basanta, son of former Union minister Th Chaoba, are seeking party tickets for the Inner Manipur seat. An equal number of candidates are also seeking the BJP ticket to contest from Outer Manipur.

In the last Lok Sabha polls, Congress candidates Dr T Meinya and Thangso Baite had bagged the Inner and Outer Manipur Parliamentary seats. Dr Meinya is again seeking the party ticket, while Baite has not applied for the party ticket.

On the other hand, the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) sources said that altogether nine persons, including three former MLAs, have applied for a ticket to contest the Inner Manipur seat, while seven others have applied for Outer Manipur candidature. Meanwhile, the MPCC is preparing for the proposed visit of Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to the State on March 20.

On the other hand, the Communist Party of India has already announced the name of former minister Dr M Nara as its candidate for the Inner Manipur seat. The Manipur People’s Party has named its president, Oinam Jugindro, and B Laikham Kaipu as its candidates for the Inner and Outer constituencies.

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