Fifteen years is a long time. Congress has been ruling Manipur under the leadership of current Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh for the last one-and-a-half decades, so people are curious if it will come to power again for the fourth consecutive time. Here is a surprising element – the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has the potential to topple the Congress government.
Manipur may be a small state with ethnic unrest and rampant corruption but people's interest in politics is almost euphoric. Even banned underground outfits come out of their shells during elections to earn easy money as well as support their candidates. People vote every time with the hope seeing some change but it never happened. This time, it appears like BJP will spring a surprise win.
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According to C-Voter's exit poll of the 11th General Elections to Manipur Legislative Assembly 2017, BJP has chance of winning 25-31 seats as against Congress 17-23, and others 9-15. If this comes true, BJP will get the chance to form a coalition government, and it will come as a big surprise as the party didn't win even a single seat in the previous elections (2012).
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However, Manipur Elections 2017 exit poll by India Today-axis tells a different story. It has predicted that Congress may win 30-36 seats, while BJP may win 16-22, NPF 3-5, and others 3-6. If this comes true, Congress will rule the state for the consecutive times under the leadership of Ibobi Singh. The Congress party won 42 seats in the previous elections.
It may be noted the exit poll of the Manipur Elections 2017 was released even as there is repoll in eight constituencies, spreading across 28 polling stations on Friday. So, the repoll in these constituencies can affect the exit poll prediction of the state.
Manipur went to the polls in two phases. The first phase was held on March 4 for 38 constituencies and the second and final phase was held on March 8 for 22 constituencies. The results of the Manipur Elections 2017 will be declared on Saturday, March 11.