TODAY -

'Houseful' BJP no guarantee to retain power
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: October 12, 2021 -



FROM 28 MLAs elected in the 2017 assembly election to the present strength of only 15 legislators, the Congress party is the only political organisation among the many active in the state to suffer blows after blows ever since the BJP formed the government with its allies and Congress deserters.

In-spite of fighting the 2017 polls amid unfavourable condition as the BJP was also holding the rein of power at the Centre, the Congress party fared better than expected and emerged as the single largest party.

While failure to entice MLAs of other parties in time to reach the magic figure of 30-plus MLAs in the 60-member assembly proved costly for the grand old party, success of its arch rival BjP in engineering defection and stitching post-election alliance to end the 15-year rule of Congress party undoubtedly left the latter in tatters.

Dethronement of the Congress party from power not only triggered outcries and led to posers over role and constitutional integrity of the then Governor but also marked the downfall of the Congress party, otherwise considered as invincible in both the state and majority of the north-eastern states.

A shattered and bruised Congress party continued to rant and ridicule the BJP whenever sensitive issues cropped up in the state but such tirades periodically got diluted as some of the former's legislators were convinced that the grass was definitely greener on the other side and remaining loyal to their parent party wouldn't help prolong his/her political career.

All the Congress turncoats eventually jumping ship and deciding to don the saffron colour and embrace the BJP ideologies showcased malleable characteristics of Manipuri politicians.

Compared to only a single Congress defector proving decisive in the formation of the present coalition government, the BJP's stature and strength grew as more Congress legislators joined its ranks and after the return of the Modi-led government at the Centre.

Without an iota of doubt and regardless of the Congress leaders contending that the defections wouldn't impact its electoral prospect, the fact is that BJP is currently the most sought-after party in the run-up to the 12th Manipur Legislative Assembly scheduled in early part of 2022.

While Congress struggles to keep its house in order after its sitting as well as former legislators consider it appropriate to sup with the ruling BJP, the latter is in an enviable position of having multiple choice of whom to field in which assembly constituency for the upcoming polls.

Among others, reports doing the round that BJP central leaders might drop a handful of sitting MLAs to neutralise anti-incumbency factor might be the driving force for some present and former Congress MLAs to shift loyalty.

However, the BJP leaders should seriously ponder over the wisdom of entertaining every recognisable Congress face as there might be unwanted consequences that could tarnish the party's otherwise unblemished reputation as it is obvious that the BJP cannot satisfy all the ticket seekers.

The BJP mastermind can't be naive of the fact that in Manipur the electors do not necessary exercise their democratic rights impressed by principles and ideologies of the parties concerned for they are now fully aware that their task is to choose their chosen ones and leave it to the elected representatives to decide whether or not he/she turns into commodities of political horse trading in case of unclear mandate as was evident after the 2017 polls.



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