TODAY -

In the grip of election fever : Lining up for saffron party
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: December 30, 2021 -



The election fever is certainly hotting up, though the degree may vary from one Constituency to the other.

So while some Assembly Constituencies are neck deep in poll related activities, best visible in the number of posters and banners put up all over the place, in some the poll cry is still rather subdued, with no one really knowing when the pitch will go on the overdrive.

As expected, each Assembly Constituency today sees a number of BJP intending candidates and it would be interesting to see how things unfold once the candidate list is announced.

With huge resources having already been expended, it would be interesting to see how the 'unfortunate others' respond when one from amongst them is picked to represent the saffron party in the hustings.

The beeline that has been formed before the BJP is understandable, for it is the party which is in power at New Delhi as well as at Imphal and its popularity seems to be riding high, thanks to the image that Narendra Modi has been able to sculpt in the last 6/7 years as Prime Minister of the country.

Other than the huge number of intending BJP candidates in each Assembly Constituency, the saffron party has also been able to attract some political heavy weights not only from the Congress but also from its present ally, best exemplified by the decision of YAS Minister Letpao Haokip to switch side to the BJP from the NPP.

At the moment, no one seems to be willing to be seen anywhere near the Congress and this is saying something a lot for here is a party which has ruled the State for the greater part of her history ever since Manipur attained Statehood in 1972, not to speak of the three terms it was in office before the 2017 Assembly election.

This is about the intending candidates, how they are lining up for the party's ticket and apart from them, this is also the right time for some to put across their agenda and one such example may be seen in the just concluded 18 hours bandh imposed by the Scheduled Tribe Demand Committee, Manipur.

It has been the stand of The Sangai Express that the STDCM, World Meetei Council and others who share their stand should try and see if the demand that the Meiteis be included in the Scheduled Tribe list of the Constitution of India can be made central to the coming Assembly election.

The healthy response that the 18 hours bandh evoked from the people, particularly at Thoubal, Kakching, and Bishnupur districts, can perhaps give an inkling to the STDCM on where their focus should lie ahead of the Assembly election.

Imphal is - no doubt the nerve centre, but it would help that much more if people from the other districts can be mobilised more effectively in their future course of action.

Apart from the ST demand, the continued imposition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act is another point which can become the focal point of political parties, with the NPP and the Janata Dal (United) having already made its stand clear on the matter.

This is where it would be interesting to see where the State unit of the BJP stand on this.

Will it at least approach the Centre to try and get the Army Act withdrawn from the State is an interesting question and the answer to this will also be equally and most significantly crucial for it can influence many on how they vote when the day comes.

This is important for all the political parties.



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