Cong sends 3 observers to Manipur to oversee post-poll scenario

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Amid speculation of a hung Assembly in Manipur, the Congress has dispatched three observers to the state to oversee the post-poll scenario.

In 2017, the party even after being the single-largest party, had failed to form the government in Manipur.

The party has assigned T.S. Singhdeo, senior minister in the Chhattisgarh government, Vincent Pala and Mukul Wasnik.

The Congress has asked all its observers and party in-charges to keep tab on all its newly elected MLAs and inform the central leadership about the same on the counting day on March 10. This is being done to keep its flock together, said sources.

Karnataka Congress President D.K. Shivakumar has been sent to Goa to monitor and strategise there. Sources in the Congress said that he is going to camp in Goa for three days to ensure that the age-old party, which missed a chance to form the government by a whisker in the last Assembly elections, does not commit the same mistakes again. Shivakumar is going to stay put in Goa till the new government is formed, sources added.

Apart from the senior observers, the party has also another set of leaders in states where the party is anticipating a close contest or hung Assembly. P. Chidambaram is a senior observer of Goa, Jairam Ramesh in Manipur, Mohan Prakash in Uttarakhand, Bhupesh Baghel in Uttar Pradesh and Ajay Maken is in Punjab. The party in-charges have also been asked to remain in the respective states from March 10.

Sources say that the Congress wants to protect its MLAs from being poached and is likely to shift them after March 10.

The Congress fears poaching as happened in 2017 when despite emerging as a single largest party in Goa and Manipur, the party could not form the governments. The Congress is anticipating a similar kind of poaching in all the four states and in Uttar Pradesh also which might witness a hung Assembly, sources said.

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