Run up to Lok Sabha elections Key : Choice of candidates

This is election year and as usual poll pundits are out there doing what they think they know best, constructing and deconstructing many pre-poll predictions and the factors that could weigh in on the voting behaviour of the people. Other than the two principal political parties, that is the BJP and the Congress, regional satraps have started flexing their muscles delivering the point that without their support, it would be well nigh impossible to form the Government. Or at least sending out the message that they can come together and have a big and vital say in forming the next Government. If things pan out according to their calculations then one can expect the DMK and the AIDMK from the South, All India Trinamool Congress from the East, Shiv Sena, NCP from the West and BSP, SP and the Akali Dal from the North having a big say in Government formation and which of the two principal political parties manage to strike the best deal will have the last laugh. In Manipur, it is difficult to even imagine that regional political parties can have a decisive role. The NPP is at best a Meghalaya based political party and the NPF is Kohima centric, though these two political parties are allies in the BJP led Government at Imphal. What however is clear that the NPP has already announced its intention to field its candidates in the two Lok Sabha seats in the State and the NPF too is more than likely to field its own candidate in the Outer Parliamentary Constituency. If the present is any indication then the BJP and the Congress may be expected to fight it out as the main contenders along with the NPF in the Outer while in the Inner it would mean with the NPP and the Left.
The Left too has already announced that it will field Dr Nara in the Inner Parliamentary seat and one may well expect to see a four way fight in the Inner with the BJP, Congress, CPI and the NPP leading the way. This is where it becomes necessary to repeat an important point stated earlier. The CPI is believed to have its own vote base and the fortune of either the BJP and the Congress will certainly depend to a large extent on the choice of the candidates. As things stand now, nine are vying for the Congress ticket in the Inner Parliamentary seat while seven are there in the Outer seat. The BJP on the other hand is yet to announce the names of those seeking the party’s ticket but already some intending candidates can be seen having started their own publicity drives. The parameters to award the party’s ticket is best known to the party leadership, but remember the BJP too is similar to the Left in the sense that it is a cadre based party and much may depend on what its parent organisation the RSS says. Early days yet, but one can certainly detect the poll fever catching up and as noted earlier here, the poll outcome will be more crucial to Chief Minister N Biren than to CLP leader O Ibobi. This is what comes with being the leader of the party heading the Government.

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