Big anti-incumbency factor Ahead of Lok Sabha polls

Just as the voters said no to a fourth consecutive term for the Congress in Manipur after the 2017 Assembly elections, voters in Chhatisgarh and Rajasthan have also said no to a fourth and second term for the BJP. In Madhya Pradesh it is not exactly a yes to the BJP for a fourth consecutive term. In Mizoram too voters have refused to send the Congress back to power instead backing the Mizo National Front to the hilt. The figure says it all, with the Congress managing to bag only 5 in the House of 40 and the Mizo National Front romping home comfortably with 26 seats. Others accounted for 8. The common string that one can see in the results of the Assembly elections, is the huge anti-incumbency factor playing a significant role in determining the voting behaviour of the people, save for Telengana. The widespread interest in the Assembly elections in the five States rests on the fact that Parliamentary elections will be held in the early part of next year and already many keen political watchers of the country have started getting down to the task of analysing how this will impact on the Lok Sabha elections. The results of the Assembly elections in the five States will not impact on the BJP led Government at Imphal, but the results must have flustered the BJP camp here. This is all that more so since Parliamentary elections will be held next year and this will be the first time that Manipur will vote for its two Lok Sabha MPs with the BJP in power at Imphal. It is precisely because of this that The Sangai Express has expressed its view that the Parliamentary elections will be more crucial for the BJP here than the Congress.
This is a point which must have dawned on the State BJP leadership too and as noted in an earlier commentary here, much will depend on how it goes about with the business of picking its candidate, particularly in the Inner Parliamentary seat. The same thing goes for the Congress too. Will the two principal political parties go for the tried and tested political figures or will they opt for someone fresh. Here the pros and cons may be deliberated. Going for the tried and tested will obviously mean that the political party will not need to go overboard to introduce their candidate to the voters. On the other hand, it can also be burdened with the task of explaining what the candidate has done so far for the people in their political career. On the other hand, opting for a fresh candidate could mean hardselling the chosen one to the public and this may take some time. It will also entail the task of building a team of backroom boys, who must know how to strike a common line of thought with the fresh faced candidate but it remains that a fresh face is always a fresh welcome. Other than this, a close look at what Manipur needs at the moment and will need 20 years down the line is what is urgently needed. Picking the right candidate can certainly go a long way in winning half the battle, when election time comes. For starters the two political parties need to be guided by certain fundamental questions such as who is best placed or best qualified to take the case of Manipur to the floor of the Lok Sabha. Choosing the right candidate should also mean picking a man or woman who will not take entering the electoral ring as a means to line his or her pocket or fatten his or her bank account. In so far as Manipur is concerned the choice of candidate will influence the behaviour of the voters to a good extent. A point which the BJP and the Congress cannot afford to overlook.

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