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Burst of colours, dancing to party songs, food as ‘support’ — snapshots of Manipur before polls

Door-to-door electioneering, public meetings & flag hoistings are taking place across Manipur, ahead of assembly polls on 28 February & 3 March. ThePrint brings glimpses of the campaign.

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Thoubal/Imphal/Bishnupur: Manipur is awash in colours with campaign banners, and flags of various political parties, decking up even the smallest of pockets in the state, ahead of the assembly elections scheduled for 28 February and 5 March.

With door-to-door campaigns, public meetings and flags being hoisted across the state, public places have been dyed in a rainbow hue of party colours. The battle this time is primarily between the BJP, the Congress, Conrad Sangma’s National People’s Party, the Janata Dal (United) and the Naga People’s Front (in the hills).

As campaign vans reach small hamlets, belting out party anthems such as the BJP’s election song, Thambal (lotus in Meitelon, the language commonly spoken in Manipur), children gather around these and break into a dance.

Campaign rallies, especially in the state’s valleys, are punctuated by traditional customs like the athenpot thunbi — in which women from lekais, or the neighbourhood, bring offerings of food, flowers, bamboo and rice to the candidates as a show of support.

ThePrint brings glimpses from the campaign.

A Congress supporter carries the party flag in the Loktak lake area | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
A Congress supporter carries the party flag in the Loktak lake area | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Women take photos of former Manipur CM and Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh at a rally in Wangkhem constituency | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Women take photos of former Manipur CM and Congress leader Okram Ibobi Singh at a rally in Wangkhem constituency | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Okram Ibobi Singh at a rally in Keirao constituency | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Okram Ibobi Singh at a rally in Keirao constituency | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Congress supporters in Wangkhem constituency carry food from their homes for the local candidate as a mark of support | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Congress supporters in Wangkhem constituency carry food from their homes for the local candidate as a mark of support | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Food brought by Congress supporters as a mark of support during a rally in Wangkhem constituency | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Food brought by Congress supporters as a mark of support during a rally in Wangkhem constituency | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar Singh with his daughter and NPP youth president Ratika Yumnam and granddaughter Sisi, before leaving for election campaigning | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Deputy Chief Minister Yumnam Joykumar Singh with his daughter and NPP youth president Ratika Yumnam and granddaughter Sisi, before leaving for election campaigning | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
A child dances ahead of NPP Party supporters campaigning for the party's candidate at Kanika village, Imphal | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
A child dances ahead of NPP supporters campaigning in Kanika village, Imphal | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
NPP Party supporters in Kanika village | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
NPP supporters in Kanika village | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
JD(U) Candidate Thounaojam Brinda on door-to-door campaigning in Bamon Lekai, Imphal | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
JD(U) candidate Thounaojam Brinda on door-to-door campaigning in Bamon Lekai, Imphal | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
JD(U) Candidate Thounaojam Brinda during campaigning | Photo:,Praveen Jain | ThePrint
JD(U) candidate Thounaojam Brinda during campaigning | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Children dance near a BJP van in Thanga, Bishnupur district, as it plays the party's election song | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Children dance near a BJP van in Thanga, Bishnupur district, as it plays the party’s election song | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
A BJP flag at a school in the state | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
A BJP flag at a school | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Locals ladies dance in front of a BJP campaign vehicle in Thanga | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Locals women dance in front of a BJP campaign vehicle in Thanga | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Women in hijab take selfie at a Congress rally | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint
Women in hijab take selfie at a Congress rally | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint

Children run with flags of different political parties | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrintChildren run with flags of different political parties | Photo: Praveen Jain | ThePrint


Also read: NPP alleged militants campaigning for BJP in Manipur. Here’s why it didn’t push issue with EC


 

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