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Only 15 (nine percent) out of the 173 candidates contesting the Manipur assembly election in the first phase are women, shows a report released by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).

The 2022 Manipur assembly election is scheduled to take place in two phases on February 28 and March 5. The first will cover 38 constituencies, while the second phase will include 22.

For the first phase, the Congress has fielded 35 candidates, out of which four are women. The BJP has fielded 36 men and only two women.

The National People’s Party (NPP) has 24 male candidates and three women.

Congress’ women candidates for the assembly election in Manipur include Thokchom Ithoibi Devi from Oinam constituency in Bishnupur district, Aribam Pramodini Devi from Keisamthong in Imphal West and Akoijam Mirabai Devi from Patsoi in the same district.

Among NPP’s women candidates are Irengbam Nalini Devi from Oinam and Pukhrambam Sumati Devi from Lamsang in Imphal West.

The BJP has fielded Sagolshem Kebi Devi from Naoria Pakhanglakpa in Imphal West and Maharabam Anita Devi from the district’s Sekmai constituency.

There are fewer women candidates in Manipur even though the number of women voters in the state is more than men. According to the Election Commission of India, there are 10,49,639 women voters in Manipur as compared to 9,85,119 men.

In the 2022 Manipur election, the Naga People’s Front (NPF), which had helped the BJP come to power in Manipur in 2017, is contesting elections against it. NPF will fight from 10 seats.

Incumbent Chief Minister N Biren Singh will contest the election in the first phase from Heingang in Imphal West. It is uncertain whether he will continue to occupy the top post if BJP wins because the party has not formally announced a chief ministerial candidate.

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