TODAY -

Missing of 'The Saffron' from electoral colour fest
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: March 25, 2024 -



DESPITE hiding behind political euphemisms like "upholding our alliance principles," "lend its support", etc., which have been readily and unabashedly interpreted as "seat-sharing strategy" by some mainstream media houses that run on sponsorships and advertisements doled out by big corporate houses close to the political party/parties in power, failure of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to field its own candidates in some of the northeastern states for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections is not a secret that could be kept under wraps anymore.

After its successful electoral campaigns for two consecutive parliamentary elections in the region, which was otherwise regarded as the stronghold of the Congress party, it is for the first time that BJP has decided not to field its own candidates in the Lok Sabha election but extend support to candidates of its allies in some states of the northeastern region.

Apart from the announcement of supporting the candidate of Naga People's Front (NPF) Kachui Timothy Zimik in the Outer Manipur Parliamentary Constituency, the saffron party has decided to do the same in both the Parliamentary seats of Meghalaya, where its ally and ruling National People's Party (NPP) has fielded Dr Ampareen Lyng-doh, a minister in the present government, for the Shillong Lok Sabha constituency while re-nominating the party's sitting MP Agatha K Sangma to contest from the Tura Lok Sabha constituency.

Additionally, the saffron party has decided to forgo electoral battle in Nagaland, which has only one Parliamentary seat and instead support the candidate of Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) Dr Chumben Murry, who is also the consensus candidate of the ruling People's Democratic Alliance (PDA) of the Neiphiu Rio-led NDPP and BJP.

Although the saffron party has announced its support to the candidate of NPF in the Outer Manipur parliamentary constituency, its inability to decide on the candidate to be fielded from the Inner Manipur parliamentary constituency when its arch rival Congress Party had already done so, says a lot more than one could understand of the predicament the BJP is in today despite being elected to power not only at the centre but also in the state for two consecutive terms.

Every BJP leader, right from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi to chief minister N Biren Singh in Imphal may be harping on the "miraculous transformation" that has been brought in northeast region since the saffron party came to power in 2014.

But the manner in which the ethnic conflict that broke out in Manipur on May 3 last year after people of Kuki-Chin community clashed with the Meitei/Meetei over the latter's demand for recognition as Scheduled Tribe (ST) has been allowed to linger without any serious attempt to resolve the unfolding humanitarian crisis could be one of the reasons for the BJP deciding to back the NDA alliance partners in some north-eastern states.

Of course, forgoing electoral contest in some Parliamentary Constituencies in Manipur and Meghalaya, which have only two seats each and in Nagaland which has only one seat in the lower house of Indian Parliament may hardly create any ripple in the larger scheme of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which is eyeing for a third term in power while the charisma and oratorial skills of Prime Minister Narendra Modi could still do the magic and awe the voters to vote the NDA back to power.

However, neither his charisma nor the oratorial skills came to be of any use in trying to find a solution to the now nearly eleven months long ethnic conflict in Manipur as Prime Minister Narendra Modi continues to remain silent despite having lost hundreds of precious human lives and led to displacement of thousands of families on either side of the clash divide, forcing them to seek shelter in relief camps that have been set up across the length and breadth of the tiny hilly state.

His penchant for globe-trotting has also been put to the test when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not laid his foot on the soil of Manipur ever again despite making frequent visits to some of the northeastern states for laying foundation stones and inaugurating development projects including that of Manipur virtually.

In such a scenario, just imagine with what face BjP workers in Manipur would go around seeking votes for re-electing Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of the country for the third time.

Anyway, wishing "Happy Holi" to all our esteemed readers and subscribers (of course, without the saffron colour).



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