TODAY -

Street protests over denial of BJP tickets
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: January 31, 2022 -



ONLY time will tell whether or not the ensuing assembly elections will show a massive change and BJP secures two-third majority as had been consistently claimed or projected by both state and central leaders of the party.

However, the street protests by supporters of intending candidates, who couldn't find their place in the party's approved list of candidates, laid bare the fact that in Manipur electoral politics is not about upholding organisational principles and discipline.

The rate of compliance either with election promises of the parties in fray or loyalty of the intending candidates has been erratic for all parties, and such departure from the commitment draws flak, but makes little or no differences to the parties and candidates.

With just a few days left for issuance of the notification for elections scheduled for February 27 and March 3, all eyes had been on the BJP as many anticipated that its candidates' list will trigger a fresh round of party hopping among those who do not get the party ticket.

As the ruling party, it was obvious that the BJP would field candidates in all the 60 assembly constituencies.

Days before finalisation of the nominees, there were infighting and signs of dissent within the party with ardent workers and office bearers of party's units asserting that candidates who had been loyal to the party should be preferred over the newcomers and turncoats.

The tension arising out of the unusual delay in naming the candidates of the party in power intensified as all the aspiring candidates claimed that they will get the BJP ticket and have gone full throttle with their election campaigns to woo voters.

In view of the prevailing situation, many feared that those who denied tickets may indulge in violence.

As a precautionary measure, heavy security arrangement was already put in place in and around the headquarters of BJP state office.

Though some top state leaders of the party ruled out senseless violence after the announcement of the party candidates and claimed that the BJP is a disciplined party, scenes of political workers of intending candidates who were denied the ticket in some parts of the state corroborate that in Manipur ticket of the ruling party is the first choice for rookie as well as seasoned politicians as they see a greater chance of winning the polls.

It has also been a tradition among aspiring candidates did not get the ticket of the ruling party to quickly shift allegiance and contest the election under a new symbol and flag as he/she finally believes that support of national or regional parties is not the decisive factor but their people-centric activities during the preparatory campaign that will keep the voters on their side.

After forming the government in 2017, despite having just 21 seats compared to Congress' 28, by joining hands with NPP and NPF, the BJP's number crossed the halfway mark after some MLAs defected from Congress and other parties.

While healthy increase in the number of lawmakers made the saffron party almost invincible in the run-up to the polls, the party carrying out intensive and extensive surveys left nothing to speculate that allotment of tickets wouldn't be a smooth process under any circumstance as almost every assembly constituency had no less than three intending candidates.



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