Will the Lotus Bloom in Manipur?


After the massive victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Assam Assembly election bringing a bitter end to the 15 years rule of congress government led by Tarun Gogoi, all eyes are on Manipur as it is likely to go to poll by February 2017.

The congress government of Manipur under the leadership of Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, will be completing its fifteen years in 2017 having survived onslaughts from various quarters including the Modi wave that swept across the country and also the internal conflict within the party.

The fall of Congress in Assam, that remained undisputed for three consecutive terms, has changed the perception of the entire political scenario in the region marred by ton of questions.

The one prominent and obvious question of all is can the lotus bloom in Manipur?

The answer to the question has become a great interest of the entire nation yet challenging one even for the political think tank to answer at this point of time.

Can the BJP’s mantra work in Manipur like it did in Assam to overthrow the ‘indomitable’ Okram Ibobi and regime? Will the victory in Assam help bring any change in Manipur? etc are questions constantly ringing in the minds of the people and politicians alike.

Nevertheless, the count-down to the ‘clash of the titans’ has begun. Both the parties has rolled up its sleeves and preparing for the bout of the century in the election history of Manipur.

The congress party in Manipur apparently has been inflicted with a heavy blow with three of its senior legislators left the party and joined rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the run up to the poll.

The joining of the senior congress legislator to BJP although jolted the Congress party but it was not an absolute surprise rather it amplifies the so called ‘conspiracy theory’ allegedly brewing between the dissident congress MLAs since the past few months.

For the BJP this is the biggest score ever after the joining of two former MLAs of Trinamool Congress last year and a shot in the arm in their ‘Congress Mukth’ campaign in the North Eastern region.

The biggest risk taker and torch bearer of the entire conspiracy was Erabot, for his exodus has paved ways for fellow dissident.

Nongthombam Biren, arguably could be the gravest threat to the congress party for his significant role in the Congress dissident group having about 20 MLAs. And, if BJP general secretary Ram Madhav, words are true that more will follow suit congress should prepare for the worse.

Even if the calculation of BJP is true the question still remains can it deliver what it wants, to overthrow the 15 years old congress rule in Manipur,

Despite the count of dissident with 22 MLAs, Ibobi still have the upper hand with over 30 MLAs including the four former Trinamool, half of the majority (60 seats).

After the exit of Th Chaoba, former Union Minister, as the president of BJP Manipur Pradesh, Kh Bhavananda, a new face to the political arena of the state took charge as the president of the ambitious party, determine to bring down a giant (congress) in its own stronghold.

Although the change in leadership raised eyebrows amongst a handful of senior party members no objection was openly raised to the decision entirely made by central leadership.

While the question of contested leadership lingers, distribution of party tickets is another issue within BJP since the resurgence of the party with the party rose into power in the centre.

Now that the election is closing fast the ticket issue could unfold more interesting drama.

However, having said that nothing can be predictable at the present stage.

Leivon Jimmy is a leader Writer of Imphal Free Press.

Source: Imphal Free Press


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