Gearing up for Parliamentary polls Significance of 2019

If 2017 was largely about the BJP unseating the Congress after 15 years in power, then 2019 may go any way, but it will certainly centre around the coming Lok Sabha elections, bringing back memories of the days when the BJP unseated the Congress led UPA Government after ten years in 2014. Only two seats, but this will not take away the importance of Manipur at least to the eyes of the two principal political parties, the BJP and the Congress. This is where it will become interesting to see how the two pull out their aces to land the punch where it matters. Making things more interesting will be the fact that the issues between the Inner Parliamentary Constituency and the Outer Parliamentary Constituency will be hugely different, even going to the extent of being pitched against each other. What sells in the Inner seat will find no buyers in the Outer seat and vice versa and the politics of differences must have dawned on the think tank of the two principal political parties. While the integrity of Manipur and the interests of Manipur will be and can be the main poll plank of the two political parties in the Inner Parliamentary seat, this call will not have much taker in the Outer Parliamentary Constituency. This is where the announcement that the Naga People’s Front may go in for the election alone without tying up with the BJP becomes interesting. Not that the two parties had any pre-poll alliance in the 2017 Assembly elections, but there is no thumb rule that the same arrangement should continue in the Parliamentary elections for remember the two are partners in the present coalition Government led by the BJP.
This is where the Congress may try to extract political mileage, by playing the NPF against the BJP or the BJP against the NPF. And it stands that the NPF has quite a large number of takers in the Naga dominated districts. Pre-poll arrangements may have little or nothing to do with Government formation once the results start trickling in, for it is more than certain that the NPF may just go along with the BJP led NDA Government, if their candidate is voted. This is about the Outer Parliamentary seat and if the NPF has more than indicated then it is ready to go to polls without tying up with the BJP, this brings one to the question of the other major partner, the NPP. The NPP may not have much of a sway in Manipur, but remember four of its candidates were elected in the 2017 Assembly elections and what these four MLAs say will certainly carry some weight amongst the voters. Moreover the NPP and the BJP are partners in Meghalaya. The days of the one party rule seems to be over, at least for now and it is the art of mastering tie ups with other political parties that can decide the fortune or misfortune of big political parties like the BJP and the Congress. And the NPF must have surely drawn its strength from this reality while announcing that it is most likely to go alone in the Parliamentary elections for this can give them bargaining power and this is important in this age of coalition Government.

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