TODAY -

A reference to the party in power : Expectations from Imphal
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: April 17 2019 -



No doubt it is Parliamentary elections and the elected will not be attending the State Assembly but the Lok Sabha at New Delhi.

However it stands that this truism cannot be seen in isolation of the party in power at the respective States, particularly in a State like Manipur where it has been ‘customary’ for the party in power to be able to send its candidate to the Lower House of Parliament.

This is what Manipur witnessed during the last 15 years when Imphal was under the Congress Government.

This observation is made with more focus on the Inner Parliamentary Constituency where the influence and reach of the Government at Imphal is more pronounced than in the Outer Parliamentary Constituency.

Yet despite this fact, it stands that the Congress was able to get its candidate elected in the Outer Parliamentary seat for the last two terms.

This is where it becomes more and more clear that the pressure to get its candidate elected in the Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency must be getting more and more acute with each passing day on the BJP, more particularly on Chief Minister N Biren Singh.

The pressure too must be on CLP leader and former Chief Minister O Ibobi, but to be sure the pressure must be much more acute on Chief Minister N Biren and this is what is bound to make the last two days before April 18 all that more interesting.

This is not to say that the race will be solely between BJP candidate RK Ranjan and INC candidate O Nabakishore for there are others who have already made a mark for themselves in the election arena.

Leading the pack is obviously Dr M Nara, the veteran CPI leader who has seen it all.

The fact that Dr Nara is seen widely as a man of principle, having stuck with the CPI all these years through thick and thin and the fact that he was there in the hustings from 2009, always coming a close second to Congress candidate Dr T Meinya, is a factor that can have a say in the final outcome.

On the other hand, no one can write off the presence of RK Anand of the NEIDP who has seen it all ever since his foray into politics, first as an MLA representing the DRPP and then later as a Congressman.

No one can also write off the prospect of popular actor RK Somendro, more popularly known as Kaiku and it is the presence of different personalities each representing different political parties that has added to the interest in the Inner Parliamentary Constituency.

The strategies adopted by the Big Two is also interesting and it is to blunt the charge via the CAB that the BJP has dug up the ‘Law on Asylum’ promise as included in the manifesto of the Congress.

How the different strategies adopted by the different political parties impact on the voting behaviour of the people is yet to be known, but already a number of well informed people have started articulating their thoughts and this is what is interesting.

Despite the presence of the other contenders in the field, it will be interesting to see how the Congress and the BJP square it off and even if neither comes out on top, it will nonetheless be interesting to see which of the two candidates is able to garner more votes.



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