As the last votes for the Manipur Assembly elections come in, the Congress is fighting the Bharatiya Janata Party to the finish, but Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh and his clan have done very well for themselves. Early in the day, the chief minister stood firm on his home turf, the Thoubal constituency. The BJP candidate, trailing by about 10,000 votes, came a distant second. Irom Sharmila, human rights activist and leader of the People’s Resurgence and Justice Alliance won only 90 votes.
The chief minister’s nephew Okram Henry Singh won the Wangkhei constituency, in the heart of the capital city. Apparently unscathed by drug smuggling charges against him, the Congress leader beat the BJP candidate, Yumkham Erabot Singh, by 4,500 votes. Erabot, a veteran Congress leader, had recently defected to the BJP.
Meanwhile, the chief minister’s son, Okram Surajkumar Singh, won the Khangabok constituency by nearly 10,000 votes. The 29-year-old took the baton from his mother, Okram Landhoni, who has been the Khangabok legislator for the last two terms.
Whether or not the Congress can form the government in Manipur, the local dynasty is thriving.