Congress chief ministerial candidate Ibobi Singh won the Thoubal seat on Saturday, when results for the 2017 Manipur Assembly elections were declared. Civil rights activist Irom Sharmila, who had challenged the Congress strongman, got around 26 seats and might lose deposit. There were more NOTA votes than for Sharmila.
By 3.15 pm, the BJP had 16 seats and the Congress 15. Exit polls have predicted a win for the BJP, though the party may need support from regional outfits to form the government. There are 60 seats in the state Assembly and the number of seats a party needs to be declared a winner is 31.
Even though the elections were marred with violence, people came out in large numbers to cast their votes. The state has been crippled by an economic blockade, that was called by the the United Naga Council on November 1, 2016. The blockade was called to protest the government’s decision to bifurcate seven districts.
Here is how the day panned out:
8.30 pm: Congress gets 28 seats and BJP finishes second with 21 seats. The official figure from Election Commission in below
5.27 pm: Counting is going on in only five constituencies, yet it is still difficult to tell who might form the government.
4.55 pm: The performance by regional parties will decide which party will form the government.
4.25 pm: Hung Assembly looming.
4.16 pm: N Biren Singh, former Congress state vice president who had switched to the BJP, wins in Heingang constituency.
4.01 pm: Former BJP president and strongman Thounaojam Chaoba loses in Nambol by narrow margin.
3.50 pm: In Senapati district, the headquarter of the United Naga Council, the Naga People’s Front party has won one out of three seats so far.
3.38 pm: The BJP and Congress at 17 seats each.
3.25 pm: BJP candidate Francis Ngajokpa set to lose in Tadubi constituency. He had switched sides last year after the Congress reportedly denied him a ticket.
3.10 pm: The Lok Jan Shakti got one seat.
2.40 pm: The Congress and BJP both win 14 seats each.
2.12 pm: The BJP leading in Thanlon constituency, where there were allegations of booth capturing.
1.40 pm: The BJP inches closer to the Congress.
1.25 pm: Irom Sharmila tells The Indian Express that she will never contest elections again.
1.20 pm: A Congress candidate leading in Naga bastion Ukhrul despite the economic blockade.
1.10 pm: The Congress makes inroads in Naga areas, wins Karong constituency.
1.02 pm: Regional parties might be the deciding factor.
12.46 pm: Nemcha Kipgen wins Kangpokpi seat for the BJP. She is the wife of Kuki National Front chief, and recently defected from the Congress to the BJP.
12.42 pm: The BJP says it will form government with regional parties. The Congress also said they were in talks with the National People’s Party.
12.32 pm: The Indian Express reported that the Congress and BJP have won 12 seats each.
12.12 pm: Congress leads with 6 seats, the NPP at 2 and NPF 1.
11.37 am: The Congress wins three seats, now ahead of the BJP. The National People’s Party wins one seat.
11.19 am: The BJP wins two seats; leading in five. The Congress is leading in 12 constituencies.
10.25 am: Among others, the National People’s Party is leading in 3 seats, the National Congress Party in 1 and three independent candidates are leading in one seat each.
10.12 am: Irom Sharmila got 26 votes so far, might lose deposit.
10.05 am: The Congress is trailing behind the BJP, says EC.
10.00 am: More people chose NOTA than Irom Sharmila, reported News 18.
9.45 am: The saffron camp is leading in more seats than the Congress: EC
9.32 am: The BJP is leading in three seats, according to EC data.
9.21 am: Section 144 imposed in several counting centres after reports about an explosion in Bishnupur.
9.12 am: The Congress is leading in six seats, says The Indian Express.
9.07 am: TOI reported that Manipur deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam Gangmei is leading in Nungba constituency.
8.55 am: The Bharatiya Janata Party leads in one seat.
8.40 am: Official results from the Election Commission right now. The Congress leading in one seat.
8.35 am: Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh is leading in Thoubal constituency.
8.04 am: Counting of votes begins.
8.00 am: Irom Sharmila says muscle and money power were openly used by parties in Manipur.
8.00 am: The C-Voter poll predicted 28 seats for the BJP, 20 for Congress and 12 for others. Axis showed a Congress win with 33 seats, BJP at nine and five for the others. According to the CNN-News18’s MRC poll, the BJP should win 25 to 31 seats, the Congress will bag 17 to 23 seats, and the others, including Irom Sharmila’s party, will win 11.