Cant Win Them With Money: Manipurs Ningthoujam Popilal Singh Fights State Elections With Zero Assets

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'Can't Win Them With Money': Manipur's Ningthoujam Popilal Singh Fights State Elections With Zero Assets

The 26-year-old fighting from Manipur's Sekmai constituency is not only the youngest candidate to contest the state elections but also the odd one in the list of rich participants fighting for the coveted Assembly seats.

Currently, the country is gripped in election fever as five states have gone to the polls. With Uttar Pradesh and Punjab in prime focus, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur are also making their presence felt in this regard.

The north-eastern state plays an integral role in the ongoing elections. What is notable is that Manipur has around 53% of polling candidates are millionaires with a whopping amount of assets to their name.

An independent candidate named Sapam Nishikant Singh is the richest in the election's phase. Contesting Imphal West's Keisamthong constituency, he declared assets costing over Rs 29 crores.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, 26-year-old Ningthoujam Popilal Singh is fighting the elections with no assets whatsoever. He is the youngest candidate fighting the Manipur elections who has worked hard to get his ticket and make a difference for the local community.

Money Not A Driving Agenda

According to NDTV, Popilal Singh is standing from the state's Sekmai constituency, and it is the only seat in Manipur explicitly reserved for the Scheduled Caste. Earlier, he tried for a Congress ticket, and however, he was denied that, after which he is now fighting on a Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ticket.

Unlike extremely well-to-do candidates in the state, Ningthoujam Popilal Singh is a cultivator by profession. He told the news publication, "I am an unemployed graduate, and I make a living for my family through private tuitions to students of my village."

Being the odd one out amongst the 'creme de la creme' of Manipuri candidates may not be easy. However, Popilal Singh knew that money would never be the driving agenda. "Voters of my constituency don't run after money, and you can't win them with money," he adds.

His zeal for making a difference proves to be an inspiration for many. A local told NDTV, "He is a youth who does things for the community. His agenda for the future, what he does impresses me a lot, and that's why I support him."

The elections in Manipur will take place on Sunday, February 27. One of the significant agendas is the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), applicable in the north-eastern states. While the government cites it as legislation important for national security, many have criticised it and called it a blatant human rights violation tool.

Also Read: Manipur Assembly Passes Anti-Mob Violence Bill, Accused To Pay Fine Up to Rs 5 Lakh

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Writer : Akanksha Saxena
Editor : Ankita Singh
Creatives : Akanksha Saxena

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