Pulling up sleeves before election Leadership question before polls

Definitely the present is interesting. So while the United Naga Council and other Naga civil society organisations are at the forefront in cutting off the lifelines of the State, the two principal political parties, the Congress and the BJP, have been going hammer and tongs against each other ahead of the Assembly election. So if Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam dismissed the poll prospects of the BJP with his quip, “The Congress does not count BJP as a rival for the 11th Manipur Legislative election,” BJP MLA Th Bishwajit hit back with his observation, “Gaikhangam is also aware that there would not be any more Congress Government in the State. That was why, he was mouthing a volume of blatant lies.” A more than enough indication that it is these two political parties which are at the centre stage and whichever way the political wind blows, Manipur will see either a Congress led or a BJP led Government after the Assembly election. Other than the creation of the seven new districts, which has given the Congress a new shot of life in Kangpokpi district which has three Assembly Constituencies, what may stand well for the party is the leadership question. Having already completed three consecutive terms in office, the party has in O Ibobi, a man,  who seems ready to lead from the front again. This is something which the BJP does not seem to have at present. Granted, Chief Ministerial candidate is not the be all and end all of any political party ahead of the election, but remember the BJP managed to sweep the Lok Sabha election in 2014 after projecting Narendra Modi as the Prime Ministerial candidate.
The question at the moment is whether the BJP is in the position to be able to name a person as the Chief Ministerial candidate or not. If it fails to do so, will it be due to some deliberate design or due to its failure to find the man who can be Chief Minister material and accordingly win over the faith of the voters. Early days yet, for remember the BJP has only one MLA in the present Assembly and it is difficult to zero in on anyone at the moment. Maybe the picture may become more clear after the list of candidates is announced and this is where the job of picking the right candidates becomes all that more crucial. Here the question remains of how well tuned the Central leaders of the BJP are to the ground realities in Manipur. More importantly how effectively has the State unit of the party been able to project the political reality of the State to the Central leadership, is a question that will certainly do the round when the ball is thrown on the court of the voters. So one party settled with the question of Chief Ministerial candidate and the other not as yet clear and remember how the BJP tackles with this question may go a long way in influencing the voting pattern of the voters.


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