TODAY -

Loyalty pledge: Time for political class to introspect
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: February 05, 2022 -



FOR an organisation, whose many leaders were hero-worshipped for spearheading the freedom movement and had helmed the country's affairs for maximum terms, not many would have anticipated that the Indian National Congress would face such a desperate situation that its nominees for the ensuing assembly election would have to take the pledge to remain loyal to the party after the polls.

Compared to other parts of the country where the INC had been gradually losing its foothold, the Congress party had been nearly invincible in the northeast region with majority of the states ruled by it in-spite of change of governments at the Centre.

However, all the 54 candidates that it is fielding out of the state's total of 60 assembly constituencies vowing at different holy places on Thursday not to desert the party suggests that the days ahead are not at all rosy for the country's oldest political organisation.

Ahead of filing the nomination papers for Assembly election, the INC candidates jointly pledged not to join any other political parties after winning the election.

Though some of the senior leaders are certain to uphold party's principle and remain firm whatever be the outcome of the elections, the same cannot be said for majority of the rookie first-time candidates, as many of them seem to have been selected to sustain the party's tradition of contesting all the seats in every election.

Rather than being chosen based on their winnability factor, the rookie candidates were probably nominated to maintain profile as the main opposition party.

While there is nothing wrong with the INC candidates taking the pledge at sacred sites/premises of the various religions, such an unprecedented move rings out the message that the party is keen to avoid repetition of the previous election debacle, wherein, despite emerging as the single largest party with 28 MLAs, it not only failed to form the government but also saw efflux of its legislators one after the other.

The bitterest part for the Congress party is that it lost all but one sitting MLA to the arch rival BJP, thereby making the latter feel elated and believing that there is strong possibility of realising its professed agenda of completely wiping out the former from the country.

Interestingly, the BJP's charge towards decimating the Congress in the northeast is being led by Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and his Manipur counter N Biren, both products of the Congress stable.

While only time will tell whether or not the BJP achieves its goal, the loyalty pledge taken by the Congress candidates corroborates that when it comes to political integrity and discipline Manipuri politicians can't be trusted.

Without any doubt, shifting allegiance as and when opportunity beckons is one of the reasons for the masses not esteeming the political class but re-election of significant number of turncoats in the past elections indicates that the voters favour those who would either be sitting in the treasury bench or MLAs committed to hold the cudgel for the people, expose administrative deficiencies, take up state issues, etc., regardless of being in the opposition.



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