Deepak Nagpal/ Zeenews Bureau
New Delhi/ Imphal: So, the poll battle in Manipur is almost over. And as expected, Okram Ibobi Singh is most likely to bring Congress back to power for a third consecutive time, as per exit polls on national news channels.
While the News24-Today's Chankya exit poll has predicted 25 seats for the Congress followed by 10 seats for the NCP and nine for the Trinamool Congress, a post-poll survey conducted by CNN-IBN-The Week and CSDS said that the ruling party is likely to return to power with a 30 percent vote share. It predicted 24 to 32 seats for the Congress. A party needs 31 seats to secure a simple majority in the 60-member Manipur Assembly.
The worrying factor for the Congress, however, is the erosion in its vote share, which has declined 4 percent from last time. And there are high chances that it might have to secure the support of smaller parties this time around to form the government, which makes Congress open to attacks and blackmail politically.
The scenario has becomes all the more complicated in the wake of 11 opposition parties coming together in Manipur to form the People's Democratic Alliance (PDA). The alliance, which could see its chances brighten up in case the results this Tuesday (March 6) do not come in Congress’ favour, includes parties like NCP, Manipur People's Party, CPI, CPI-M, BJP, NPF, Trinamool Congress and others.
The survey said Trinamool is likely to obtain anywhere between 7 to 13 seats with a 14 percent vote share.
The CSDS survey further said that O Ibobi Singh continues to remain the favourite choice of voters to become the CM. As many as 25 percent of the people surveyed said Singh is their number one choice.
The public mood is in contrast to recent reports that said Singh was no more the Congress favourite to become the chief minister.
There had been speculation that incumbent Commerce and Industry Minister Yumkham Erabot Singh had emerged as a strong contender to Singh, while current president of the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee, G Gainkhangam was another contender to the post.
The CSDS survey also pointed at an interesting fact. While respondents to the survey were not fully satisfied with the Congress rule in the north-eastern state, yet they were unwilling to let it go.
This view is generally based on the assumption that a party which is also in power at the Centre would prove to be better for the state than a party which is powerless in New Delhi.