Manipur threw up a hung assembly on Saturday as the ruling Congress bagged 28 of the 60 seats and the BJP won 21. The Congress had won 42 seats in the 2012 assembly. The BJP, on the other hand, had no members in the outgoing House. Human rights activist Irom Sharmila, who contested against Chief Minister Ibobi Singh, could secure only 90 votes and was relegated to the fourth position.
After her dismal showing, Sharmila announced that she would quit politics but continue her fight against the controversial AFSPA in the state. The Naga Peoples Front (NPF) and the National People'sParty (NPP) bagged four seats each. The Lokjanshakti Party and an Independent candidate won one seat each.
In the 2012 assembly poll too LJP had won a seat. The Trinamool Congress bagged one seat. The party had won seven seats in the previous assembly polls. The Nationalist Congress Party which had bagged a seat in the previous assembly election, drew a blank this time. Ibobi Singh romped home from Thoubal constituency defeating his nearest BJP rival L Basanta Singh by 10,400 votes.
The Congress and the BJP each claimed that they would form the government with the support of like-minded parties. Manipur Congress chief T N Haokip told PTI, "We are confident that we will form the next government in Manipur. We are already in talks with like-minded secular and regional parties."
State BJP president K Bhabananda Singh also exuded confidence of forming the government in the state. "We are confident of forming the next government in Manipur," he said. The BJP's vote share of 36 per cent is higher than the 34.7 per cent secured by the Congress.
Prominent Congress candidates who won included Md Abdul Naser and K Jaikishen Singh. BJP leader N Biren Singh emerged victorious from Heingang seat, while other prominent winners of the party included Sapam R Singh and Heikham Dingo Singh. Former state BJP chief Th Chaoba, however, lost.