TODAY -

Parties to watch in LS polls :: Cong Vs BJP !
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: October 22 2018 -



It is now October 2018.

In a few months from now, that is in the early part of 2019, Lok Sabha elections will be on in Manipur, like in the rest of the country and the stake will obviously be very high for the BJP and the Congress, the two principal parties in the State.

True Manipur gets to send just two MPs to the Lok Sabha but this will not in any way take away the importance of the elections here for every seat will count in the ultimate analysis.

So what are the trump cards that one can expect from the two principal political parties in the run up to the Parliamentary elections ?

The BJP will obviously try to cash in on the feel good factor that its Government has been able to whip up especially in the relations between the State Government and the hill based civil society organisations particularly the United Naga Council.

Remember, ever since the BJP led Government came to power at Imphal last year, the State Government is no longer the ‘communal Government of Manipur.’

Meaning the UNC and many like minded organisations no longer identify the State Government with a single community and this by far is the biggest achievement of the BJP led Government under Chief Minister N Biren Singh.

Add to this the fact that the State Government has been able to resolve issues whenever a threat to impose an economic blockade looms large.

In fact there has not been any blockade which has had a crippling impact on the lives of the people, ever since the BJP led Government came to power and thus serpentine queues outside petrol pumps is no longer associated with Manipur.

This is a welcome development.

The efforts of the BJP led Government to reach out to the hills is noted and this will certainly go down well with the people as a whole.

However it remains to be seen how it can sustain the feel good factor it has ignited.

Still more than 3.5 years to go in office and much will depend on how it deals with the situation, especially when the final pact with the NSCN (IM) is announced.

What can work against the BJP is obviously the MU stand off that was only recently resolved with the High Court of Manipur stepping in and appointing an Administrator to put the varsity on track.

This can have an impact on the voting behaviour in the Inner Parliamentary Constituency.

It remains that the Lok Sabha election is still some months away and public memory is very often known as being ‘very short’ and it is this reality which the BJP can hope to bank on.

It also goes without saying that the coming Parliamentary elections will be more testing for Chief Minister N Biren than for the State Congress leaders.

For the Congress it will be more like a case of nothing to lose and everything to gain.

It is this political situation that Chief Minister N Biren must have come to terms with and it remains to be seen how he goes about addressing this reality.

Much will obviously depend on the choice of candidate.

This is true not only for the BJP but also for the Congress.

The coming few days will certainly be interesting and the BJP and Congress must have already started testing the water to see who to name as the candidates in both the Inner and Outer seats.



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