The North-eastern state of Manipur goes to the polls today to elect the next 60 member assembly.
There are 270 candidates standing for the 60 seats and 1,740,576 electors will be entitled to vote at 2,357 polling stations between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. local time.
In the last elections in 2007 the Indian National Congress emerged as the largest party with 30 of the seats. It will be hoping today to win a third consecutive term in office.
This time the opposition have organised themselves against Congress. Five parties have formed the People’s Democratic Front (PDF). They are the Manipur People’s Party (MPP) which won five seats last time, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Nationalist Congress Party, the Janata Dal – United and the Communist Party of India – Marxist.
There are three other parties standing; the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who have done a deal with the MPP not to contest some of each other’s seats, the Communist Party of India and the Trinamool Congress.
A defeat for Congress would come hard after the past few months where corruption, failure to pass laws and a sense of drift have all hit the party at the federal level.
Results will be released on 6th March after the other four states voting this year have completed their elections.