BJP vs. Congress: Setting the right agenda

Seram Neken *

Voting for 16th Lok Sabha election 2014 for Inner Manipur Parliamentary in the heart of Imphal City :: 17  April 2014
Voting for 16th Lok Sabha election 2014 for Inner Manipur Parliamentary in April 2014 :: Pix - David Mayum

No political party in Manipur is now seen engaging itself in election campaign, in the real sense of the term. In fact, the political parties and their heavyweights are putting their valued pre-poll time and energy, not in wooing voters but in calculating winnable candidates for the upcoming general elections. Campaign to educate and motivate the public on a variety of issues is quite absent in Manipur.

Political leaders of the three polarized camps – Congress, BJP and the third front, have put their heads together in separate camps for strategic political maneuvering that may encourage horse-trading with the record highest bids. ‘Old wine in new bottle’ will definitely be the next government of Manipur, whether it be under the Hand or the Lotus symbols. The Manipur government may be of the BJP or the Congress, but those in it will be the same old personalities.

As a major political party, the Indian National Congress (or the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee) appears to be a bit relaxed after the sudden move of district formation which has unexpectedly turned out to be a boon for the ruling Okram Ibobi led Congress party. The Congress party, which was supposed to be ailing with the high-fever of anti-incumbency for its much-talked about mis-governance, bribery, high degree of nepotism, and inherent VVIPism, appears to have startlingly earned a purchased popularity to the extent that even the hill people have begun to shout “Long live Ibobi” in some places like Kangpokpi, Pherzol, Tengnoupal, Noneh and Kamjong districts.

It is for sure that no incumbency or otherwise factor of the INC will influence the electorate of the newly formed seven districts including Jiribam and Kakching. Maximum number of Congress candidates is likely to be voted from these new districts, as against the so called BJP-Wave or NaMo-wave sweeping across India.

As for the valley dwellers, the major election agendum will be on the prolonged economic blockade sponsored by the bête noire United Naga Council. The public perception being the inherent nexus between the UNC, NSCN(IM) and Government of India (or the BJP) arising out of the framework agreement signed between the Modi Government and the negotiating NSCN(IM) at the dawn of the current NDA dispensation at the centre, the commonmen in valley districts are likely to hate the BJP at any cost.

The chronology of events from Ukhrul firing on Chief Minister’s visit, UNC’s prolonged economic blockade, involvement of armed NSCN(IM) cadres in the blockade, Tengnoupal attacks on state forces near the security posts, arms snatching from state forces in Noneh and further violence in the hills have amplified the public notoriety towards the UNC, which may adversely affect the prospect of BJP candidates. The former BJP legislature party chief Kh Joykishan deserting party to join the Congress was also a factor for diminishing BJP’s strength in Manipur.

On the other hand, the BJP being the ruling party at the centre with its charismatic NaMo personality, has embraced numerous prospective candidates in its fold without pondering over the likely consequences on its organization. Subsequently, the state BJP now seems to be in a difficult situation to decide the candidates for the upcoming polls in a number of assembly constituencies. Besides the controversy for ticket allotment, the BJP in Manipur also appears to be down with public detestation on the demonetization issue. However, there is no reason for BJP’s downfall in Manipur, if the state BJP leaders set the right agenda before the voters.

At this critical juncture, the BJP leaders need to devise a different campaign strategy to motivate the voters with its development initiatives taken up by the Narendra Modi government at the centre. People should be convinced that economic growth in the state will be more viable when the centre-state relations are cordial. The general public needs to be convinced of the likely financial crunch in the state that may arise out of state-centre dichotomy when the BJP does not rule Manipur.

Only the agenda of economic growth coupled with a pledge for minimal corruption and nepotism can boost the BJP’s prospect in Manipur in the ensuing general elections. It needs to make a pledge for rooting out corruption, bribery and VIPism which rated the fifteen years of Congress regime.

Of course there is public apprehension at certain quarters that Manipur’s integrity may be affected when BJP comes to power in Manipur. However, it is also well established that such issues as Naga Integretation, Armed Forces Special Powers Act, Inner Line Permit System and the like have flourished for long under various regimes.

No political party or no politician have sincerely attempted to solve even a fraction of the problem, and no party whether it is Congress or the BJP or any other, will do in future. Therefore, it is nonsense to presume that a particular political party will ever break Manipur.

Everybody knows that the issues of Manipur’s integrity should in no way hinder the BJP’s prospect of winning seat in Manipur, because no politician in Manipur whether belonging to BJP, Congress or any other will allow the compromise of state’s integrity. State government, be it either under BJP or the Congress, will obviously defend the integrity of Manipur. It is time to think of economic development, rather than of other stray issues, which all the time haunt the Manipur society.

The people of Manipur have witnessed for long that issues like AFSPA, ILP, Naga Integretation, so on and so forth are quite unfit to be election agendas, because every political party and every politician has set aside such issues after elections. So, people are now fed up with such household words in election manifestoes and election promises of our politicians.

For the Congress, the election agenda is state’s Integrity and for the BJP, it must be economic growth with clean governance. At this hour the voters must also ask themselves two questions: Which political party - the BJP or the Congress, will be able to effect economic prosperity for its poor millions by establishing sustainable growth ? Which political party or political leaders is/are ready for maximum sacrifice, minimal bribery and corruption to bring about clean governance ?

* Seram Neken wrote this article for Imphal Times
The writer can be reached at nekenseram(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was posted on January 20, 2017.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Politicians & youths Interface : Gallery
  • Of Gifts and Talents
  • Unmissable chance to vote for real change
  • Countdown to the National Science Day
  • Preview : Mohammedan Vs Neroca
  • PM Modi Public Meeting at Langjing
  • Restrictions on Vehicles plying on NH-37
  • Festival of Ritual Narrative: Gallery
  • Angkor Wat @Cambodia #4: Gallery
  • Clouded leopard - in danger of extinction
  • WHO affirmed adventists' diet
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • The Onset of Spring :: Poem
  • Quality not maintained- Leimaram Road
  • 1st randomisation of EVMs
  • Not conducive for polls now stand ..
  • This election matters
  • Protest: Framework Content :: Gallery
  • Free Education for Orphans:: Gallery
  • Consequence of violence on children
  • Generate job with greater public investment
  • Danger of pushing for election ....
  • Cosmic love affair
  • Orphans Free Education in Private Schools
  • NTC on Rajnath's statement
  • Najima braves fatwa, bias to contest
  • Don't use FA for electoral gains : CSOs
  • Danger in dirty game
  • Laishram Sarita Vs Zsofia Bedo #5 :: Gallery
  • Indian democracy on the verge?
  • Naga women must be empowered : ZSUD
  • Undertaking journey of self-discovery
  • Who is Kailash Satyarthi
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • International Mother Language Day
  • Condemns incident of rape in Hauz Khas
  • IndiGo takes off on Manipur mission
  • Sanjit father offered cash to drop case
  • No hidden agenda; stop playing games
  • Assuring piped water supply
  • Trade connection with Southeast Asia #1
  • Kidongam, Mangcha, Thangkholen :: eMing
  • Ballot Jam 2.0 #3: Gallery
  • Open letter to politicians #3
  • ...PM will have to answer the people
  • SVEEP campaign at TG Hr Secondary
  • 6th Major Bob Khathing Tournament kick-off
  • Tripura Web Media Forum launched
  • Pragjyoti Intl Dance Festival ends
  • Blockades choke Manipur's economy
  • Standing assurance from Rajnath: Politicize
  • Rajnath on Framework is sceptical
  • Travelling in Ukhrul Dist #1 :: Gallery
  • Shumang Leela Fest Award #2 :: Gallery
  • Satherjit Thiyam: Choreographer : Gallery
  • Much ado about Babu-dom
  • Puya Paba Tambagi Workshop begins
  • Poll theatrics in Manipur
  • Myanmar Meetei mou at temple
  • Sadar Hills District Demand :: Articles
  • 9th Pragjyoti Intl Dance Fest starts
  • Defeating administrative convenience
  • Biju Ningombam (Photos) #3 :: eRang
  • Framework agreeement protest:: Gallery
  • Ballot Jam 2.0 #2: Gallery
  • Tale of two voices- Inspired & the Unsung
  • Election & blockade & scare campaign
  • MU Seminar : NE India & South East Asia
  • Teaching the Teacher at NEHU, Shillong
  • Women Group formed in Ukhrul
  • Training on EVM/VVPAT for women
  • Laihui @Tanglei Music Festival :: Gallery
  • Pakhang No. 1- Lila Fest #2:: Gallery
  • Open letter to politicians #2
  • Aligarh Univ- place for Women Education
  • Political consciousness- self introspection
  • My torn shirt will cost millions 1 day
  • Sadar Hills Demand 2011-2017 : Timeline
  • Films by Ri-Mita Bolsabi with Phukan
  • Zeliangrong sentiment deeply hurt: ZB
  • 2017 not to be a repeat of 2012
  • Toying with the ultimate paradox
  • Ballot Jam 2.0 #1: Gallery
  • Laishram Sarita Vs Zsofia Bedo #4 :: Gallery
  • ESU, Wangkhei: Women League Winner
  • Women Reservation-Naga Customary Law
  • Last ray of hope
  • The Lamp Right up My Street :: Poem
  • Pragjyoti International Dance Festival
  • Foreigners defy visa rules in NE
  • Demand for ILP System :: News Timeline
  • Reopening the BT Road killing
  • Time to walk the talk
  • Landscape of Manipur #5: Wallpaper
  • U-17 football tournament: Gallery
  • Open letter to politicians #1
  • Ambassadors For Christ
  • Lonelier in love :: Poem
  • Political riddle - framework agreement
  • Playing with fire, a fear factor
  • ILP Demand from 2012 :: Photo Gallery
  • Khangkhui Cave @Ukhrul #2: Gallery
  • SSS MANIFA - Film Awards #4: Gallery
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni : Naga Seed Sowing Festival
  • Occupation of Schools by Security Forces
  • RISS: Innovative Park with Recycled Material
  • History, pathology, prophylaxis of rabies
  • Involve the States more in higher education
  • 14th Sentinel Cup, Equestrian concluded
  • War of words : Other important issues
  • The unheard Calls
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #1 : Ooba
  • AMUCO Foundation Day :: Gallery
  • For The Better Democracy
  • Call centre as career options
  • How to contest polls with Rs 3.1 lakh
  • Walk-in-interview at Mizoram University
  • Xenoh Corporate Football Challenge 2017
  • Powerful statement from RN Ravi
  • Using integrity issue as a tool in election..
  • Sagon Kangjei (Polo) #4
  • Northeast One (Robert Naorem) :: Gallery
  • 'Beating of the Retreat' #3 :: Gallery
  • Maharaj & Bizando poll chat, eavesdropped
  • River :: Poem
  • Indira Gandhi's one-minute function
  • United Naga Council Statement on Feb 12
  • Banning UNC not the answer: Half baked
  • Pakhang No. 1- Lila Fest #1:: Gallery
  • Pinky Jangra Vs Claudia :: Gallery
  • Bequeath good air to our next generation
  • Politics of economic blockade in Manipur
  • You're a mere Muslim woman!
  • Why humanity remember Gandhi
  • Blockade may impact Naga talk: Ravi
  • Trainers wanted at Ascend Studio
  • Why should only blockade be an issue ?
  • Singju Fest @Khangabok #3 :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Keep Thy Heart With All Diligence
  • Women's reservation to correct traditional...
  • Satherjit Thiyam: Choreographer :: eRang
  • Sihai Lotae @Ukhrul : Gallery
  • Manipuri language & its literary traditions
  • Mina Uthum Onkhiba :: Funga Wari
  • Gita-Govinda- Drama Fest #1: Gallery
  • Blockade-Looking for solution @wrong place
  • View from tribal language perspective #2
  • A Myanmar Meetei leisabi in Yangon
  • Sadar Hills District Demand :: Articles
  • Khoupum Valley & Cave #4 : Gallery
  • NEROCA Vs SS, Kolkata:: Gallery
  • Singju Fest @Khangabok #2 :: Gallery
  • UNC's Leaders @Imphal Airport:: Gallery
  • Tanglei Cup - opening day :: Gallery
  • Snowfall at Dzukou Valley #2 : Gallery
  • Wareppa Naba :: Profile of Theatre Actor
  • First floating School at Loktak :: Gallery
  • SSS MANIFA - Film Awards #2: Gallery
  • Indigenous Medicinal & its importance
  • Peace Rally- Imphal to Jiri:: Gallery
  • 'Carrying lives in hand' :: Gallery
  • Kabuliwallah @Dance Drama Fest:: Gallery
  • Republic Day @Kangla #2 : Gallery
  • Interpreting the Princess & the Frog
  • Keibul Lamjao- Drama Fest #2: Gallery
  • Manipur: Champion @ National Thang-Ta
  • Final Match :Women's Polo #2 : Gallery
  • Gaan Ngai @Moirangkhom #2: Gallery
  • Yotsinkhidoure - ILP Special Song : Ooba
  • Khangkhui Cave @Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • Kachai Lemon Festival : Gallery
  • Kakching Lamkhai :: 360 View Panorama
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #1: Gallery
  • Meiteilon Folk & Tangkhul duet : Ooba
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3: Gallery
  • HSE examination Schedule 2017
  • HSLC examination Schedule 2017
  • Sanamanbi Sanarei :: eRang Classic
  • Summary Of Electoral Rolls Released
  • Priyanka Rajkumari #2 (Photos) :: eRang
  • Khunung Eeshei/ Ema Emoinu #3 : Radio
  • 60th CC Meet Semifinal #2 : Gallery
  • 60th CC Meet Semifinal #1 : Gallery
  • Imas from Nupi Lan: Gallery