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