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Opening the door to the NaMo wave : State BJP has its task cut out
- Sangai Express Editorial :: January 01, 2014 -



It should be obvious to everyone now. The only political party in Manipur which can give the Congress a run for its money in the upcoming Parliamentary election some time next year seems to be the BJP.

No wonder, it is the BJP which has been making all the noises, hoping to open the electoral door to its self proclaimed ‘NaMo wave’, which seems to be sweeping in some parts of the country.

Whether these noises will turn into votes or not will depend to a large extent on how successful the State unit leaders of the BJP are in keeping its house in order.

In Thounaojam Chaoba, the State unit of the BJP has a well known political figure as its president, but being well known is something very different from being a leader capable of keeping his flocks together and this is where the biggest test of Mr Chaoba will lie.

And the first test will be in the process of selecting the candidates in both the Inner and Outer Parliamentary Constituency.

Already seven are in the race for the party’s ticket for the two Lok Sabha seats. In the Outer, there is the redoubtable and highly respected, at least in the academic circle, Professor Gangmumei Kamei, A Loli Adani, who can be said to be an old hand in the BJP having already contested the election on the party’s ticket in the last two Parliamentary elections and there is Janglet Haokip, a politician of no small reckoning, but somewhat low profile compared to the other two.

In the Inner, the race is among Dr RK Ranjan, a greenhorn in electoral politics, but nevertheless a personality who has been in the public domain, not only as an academician but also as an environmentalist, Oinam Indira Devi, the lady who threw her hat into the electoral arena to take on Chief Minister O Ibobi in the election to the 10th Assembly from Thoubal AC, besides being a well known entrepreneur, setting up various Self Help Groups for women.

There is also Lt Colonel (Retd) RK Rajendra, a man widely known as someone who will not hesitate to call a spade a spade besides being a former member of the Manipur State Human Rights Commission and Retd Colonel Ch Joyraj, a retired Army officer about whom not much is known in the political circles, but one of the rare Manipuris of his generation who managed to climb the extremely pyramidical structure of the Army and become a full fledged Colonel.

All well known, all qualified aspiring candidates and unlike the other political parties, excepting the Congress, the BJP will have to grapple with the issue of too many being in the fray.

This is where the public conduct of Th Chaoba becomes crucial. As president of the State unit, he cannot afford to demonstrate his preferred choice in the public domain, as this could have far reaching consequences within the rank and file of the party workers.

Yet as the president of the State unit, he also needs to assert himself and make his voice count in the process of selecting the candidates.

Not an easy task, but then this is what politics is all about, especially in India, where one has to walk the tight rope.

For the BJP to really take the fight to the courtyard of the Congress, it is then important that they portray themselves to the voters as a strong entity, sans any inner differences.

This is one of the most important steps to win the confidence of the people. In the Inner Parliamentary Constituency, there is no doubt that it will be something like a one to one fight between the Congress and BJP, but at the same time, it would be foolish to write off the prospect of the CPI, which has already projected the redoubtable and highly articulate Dr Nara Singh as its man, unanimously.

This is something which the BJP has been unable to do so far. A question of too many seeking their tickets or something else ?

In the hills, apart from the Congress, the presence of the NPF cannot be written off that easily.

The NPF has not had its final say, but indications have come in that they are searching for a suitable candidate.

But if the NPF decides to go along with the BJP in the Outer seat then the Congress will surely have their task cut out.

These are all speculations at the moment, but all within the realm of the possible, for nothing is impossible in politics.



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