TODAY -

Looking forward to May 23 : Manipur has voted !
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: April 19 2019 -



Political party or the perceived quality and likeability of the candidate concerned ?

An interesting question this is, for while many would put the political party to which a candidate belongs to as the primary factor for voting or going against a candidate concerned, there are some who may give more weightage to the perceived quality of the candidate in question.

A look at the profile of the political parties during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and the same in 2019 may just about give some weightage to this observation.

As in 2014 the three main contenders in the Inner Parliamentary Constituency for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are the candidates belonging to the BJP, Congress and the CPI. The BJP is the party which is in power at both New Delhi and Imphal and the Congress is one of the Big Two political parties, not only in Manipur but also in the rest of the country.

The CPI on the other hand has definitely seen better days, but in Dr Nara it has a man who seems to have cut across party affiliation managing to stand apart from the political party to which he belongs to.

This is what has added beauty to the just held Lok Sabha elections in the Inner Parliamentary Constituency here.

Early days yet for the final result will only be known on May 23, but if the past is any indication, the Inner Parliamentary Constituency has consistently managed to send the candidate of the party in power at Imphal and New Delhi to the Lok Sabha.

From 2004 to 2014, the Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency sent a Congress candidate to the Lok Sabha underlining the point that the candidate whose party is in power has a tremendous added advantage over his rivals.

It was in line with this that in 2004, 2009 and 2014, the Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency sent the Congress candidate, Dr T Meinya to the Lok Sabha.

And remember it was the Congress which was in power from 2004 to 2014 at New Delhi and Imphal (2002 to 2017) .

This is the reason why The Sangai Express had earlier asserted that the pressure must be immense on the State BJP leadership, particularly Chief Minister N Biren.

A point which must have already dawned on the State BJP leadership and this was evident in which the top leadership of the State BJP went about canvassing for their candidate in the just concluded Lok Sabha election in the Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency.

So Manipur has voted, and as in the past, the issues which hogged the limelights in the Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency and Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency must have been different.

However what marks this Lok Sabha elections apart from the earlier ones, particularly the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, lies in the point that there were no diametrically opposing stands on issues confronting the State.

Fortunate it is that this time around no political party or candidate flogged the idea of Manipur as a distinct political reality, unlike the past when the script was totally different.

The people have voted and while issues will continue to be discussed and debated, let it remain within the realm of debates and not snowball into something ugly.



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