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There are only two women among the 92 candidates contesting the second phase of the Manipur assembly election, shows a report released by the Association for Democratic Reforms on February 25.

One of the women candidates in the second phase is Bharatiya Janata Party’s SS Olish, who is fighting the election from Chandel constituency. The other candidate is Yengkhom Roma Devi from CPI (Manipur State Council). She is contesting from Kakching constituency in Thoubal district.

Olish is the executive member of the BJP’s Manipur unit. She has previously served as the president of the party’s women wing in Manipur.

Meanwhile, Devi is a first-time election candidate. In her constituency, the Congress has fielded its own candidate -- Ksh Kennedy Singh -- even though it is in a pre-poll alliance with CPI.

The assembly election in Manipur will be held in two phases on February 28 and March 5. The first phase will cover 38 constituencies, while the second will include 22. Votes will be counted on March 10.

In the first phase also, the representation of women candidates is low. Only 15 (nine percent) out of the 173 candidates contesting the Manipur assembly election in the first phase are women.

The Congress has fielded four women candidates, BJP  two and the National People’s Party three.

Candidates in the first phase of the Manipur election include incumbent Chief Minister N Biren Singh. He will contest the election from Heingang constituency 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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