TODAY -

Manipur elections: Plentiful issues, solution minimal
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: November 19, 2021 -



LAUNCH of 'SarkarTaribara' digital platform by the Congress on Wednesday indicates that the main opposition party in the state is preparing to counter the incumbent government's narrative centred on good governance.

Though the platform aims at seeking inputs from the public on failure of the establishment to deliver promises made in the run-up to the 2017 assembly elections, it could be safely stated that whatever negative remarks received through the platform would be capitalised by the Congress leaders as a potent weapon to launch salvos against the BJP-led government.

The Congress party, which was caught napping in Manipur and Goa in 2017 after voters in these states didn't give a decisive mandate, is obviously not taking any chances this time.

Here in the state, the BjP outwitted the Congress, which was the single largest party but failed to move quickly enough to form government.

The BJP swiftly announced an alliance and formed government. In Goa too, where elections were held at the same time, the BJP was second to the Congress but was quicker to contact regional parties and form government.

The Congress was again caught in a similar situation in Meghalaya where top central leaders ofthe party rushed and attempted to ensure quick negotiations for the support of smaller parties and independents to form government only to be outwitted by the National People's Party, which patched up with its NEDA partners to outrun the Congress in the race for power.

Though it would be premature to predict how the adult franchisees in Manipur would exercise their rights, it is certain that the Congress would be well positioned this time to seize any opportunity to regain power.

However, unlike the previous election where the contest was mainly between the Congress, which tried to defend its 15-year record in power, and the BJP that fancied its chances in a State that generally voted favourably for thie party ruling at the Centre, the upcoming election is all poised to see afour-corner battle with NPP and NPF likely to emerge as the kingmakers.

The BJP's clout has been getting stronger since the party regained power in New Delhi in 2014.

With the exception of some southern states, West Bengal and Punjab, it has been successful in toppling Congress and other non-BJP governments in every election fought, thus leaving the Congress, which ruled the country for a protracted period, to nurse the wounds, up to now.

For central leaders of the opposition parties; demonetisation, fall of the rupee against the dollar, Rafale issue, crisis in the farm sector, failure of the promise to bring Rs 15 lakh to each Indian, inflation, rise in the price of petrol and diesel and the lack of jobs in the formal sector, to name a few, would be enticing enough to propagate during the election campaign but these national issues are unlikely to have much bearing on the state's adult population.

It's a fact that issues besieging Manipur or demands of the people are sensitive as well as community-centric consequently compelling the politicians to skip them and focus on mudslinging.

This is precisely the reason why successive democratic exercises in the state are construed by the masses as a mere formality of exercising their rights and candidates who could invest more or have the backing of invisible but powerful elements ultimately get elected.



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