A fractured mandate in the offing
Free Thinker *
Polling for first phase of 11th Manipur Legislative Assembly election on 4 March 2017 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam
For the last two-three days, I have been into quidnunc (news mongering) with my friends to gauge the general feeling about the possible outcome of the state assembly election. Most of them say it is not going to be a cat walk for the Congress as it thought to be a month ago.
However, there is a common feeling that Congress is still vibrant in the valley whereas its hold in the hills is waning except in a few constituencies that too because of the robust influence of the individual candidates. If the views expressed are taken seriously no Party is likely to cross the half way mark.
If the result on March 11 does not give a clear mandate to any party or alliance, the role of independent winners and parties with few MLAs shall play a crucial role in the formation of the next government. From now we can visualize a scenario of unscrupulous horse-trading. The offers will be in terms of money and ministership.
The demand will be in terms of redeeming the whole amount invested plus some unusual interest plus lucrative ministership. These days people want gold because of the Modi-effect.
Nobody knows when the Emperor strikes back (next demonetization takes place). There is fear psychosis — accumulation of wades of notes is fatal. I strongly believe that diamonds are a better option. But gemologists may be required for such transactions.
I heard that a candidate was distributing gold in grams (3 grams each) to voters. It is a good idea. Instead of giving notes and bottles, gold is no doubt a better option; women folks will be happy and certainly it will become a family asset.
Wasteful expenditure on drinks, feasts, parties etc., can be converted to such more sensible economics and asset creation.
The most striking part of this election is that the top leaders of the the national parties now realize that Manipuris are too attached to their land, tradition and ethnicity. Perhaps they are pleasantly stunned to get the speech inputs from local leaders giving top priority to territorial integrity and ethnic sensibilities.
Annoyed by the mistrust and distrust between the ethnic groups, a prominent leader suggested that “ a Compulsory matrimonial alliance law for the people is very must needed to safeguard the unity and integrity of the state; accordingly a Meitei can’t marry a Meitei; a Meitei boy / girl has to marry either a Naga or a Kuki ; the same rule is applicable to Nagas and Kukis”.
Desperate situation requires desperate solutions. Though utopian it is tempting to agree with him because this is a way for restoring love, unity and fraternity among the ethnic entities of the state.
I have a personal grudge against the high and mighty who came here and talked about our internationally marketable juices and deliberately avoided chanting about the universally accepted and globally salable local brew. I don’t know whether they were warned by the local ‘nishabandis’.
Actually, our activists are very reasonable people and now they understand the lucrative nature of our potent drink; their only request is that it should be manufactured for exports only (not for sale in Manipur); deal is done. We are waiting for a political clearance from all the governments.
Fifteen years is a long period. Why should ‘I’ be overburdened? This is blatant injustice. Yesterday the bridge was fallen again. Tarun and Sheila had already left. Sun (Suraj) will rise and shine; it is a matter of time; today visibility is poor because the sky is full of ‘Nongjabis’ (saffron clouds). The bandors(monkeys) have taken away all the belongings and now they want to play with lotus.
Though it is small in size, the politics of this state is so intricate and so mind boggling. A national leader became furious for asking him to change the text and emphasis of his election speech again and again as he moved from one place to another. This shows the complexities and diversities of our issues and problems.
After all politics is about capturing power; who can muster the number and gain power is still unclear? However, this is almost certain that Congress tally (forty-two) will come down and BJP tally (two) will go up along with other Parties. Most probably we are heading for a coalition government.
It has to be seen whether it will be a BJP-led government or a Congress-led government. By the way, Governor’s role is extremely important vis-ŕ-vis formation of government in a hung assembly.
The biggest joke of democracy is that jokers get elected.
* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on March 08, 2017.
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