Scripting Congress Mukt slogan:
In line to join BJP front
Not yet joined but extending outside support. That is eight Congress MLAs to the BJP led coalition Government in Imphal. Top this off with the likelihood of seven more Congress MLAs in line to join the saffron party and the natural question that arises is whether this can be taken to mean one big, giant step towards the BJP’s slogan of Congress Mukt. Obvious that here is a case of some lumpen elements within the Congress determined to prove the old adage, ‘the enemy within is more dangerous than the enemy without’ true. From the internal crisis that dogged the BJP led Government a few days back, now attention will shift towards the ‘hunger for power’ within the Congress and in the process putting the oldest political party in the country to peril. A situation which would have been thought unthinkable just four years back. After the Congress stormed to power following the 2012 Assembly elections, winning 42 in the 60 Assembly seats, no party was thought to be in a position to challenge the Congress. Back then the Congress did not stop at 42 but engineered a move in which all five MLAs who were elected on the then MSCP tickets were merged with the Congress, taking its strength to 47. With virtually no Opposition, save for Thangmeiband AC MLA Kh Joykisan who was then with the AITC and then with the BJP after the by election and Dr I Ibohalbi of the AITC, the Congress pushed its agenda through. Now it appears as if the Congress is facing the same bleak future. Two years itch, this is the malaise that seems to be dogging the Congress and there is just no word powerful enough to describe these power mongers, who do not seem to realise that serving the interests of the people does not necessarily mean they need to be on the ruling side.
To be sure all Congressmen must be a despondent lot. After the thrashing it received at the hands of the BJP in the just concluded Lok Sabha elections, it faced further embarrassment when the oldest political party just did not seem to know who to appoint as the president of the AICC after Rahul Gandhi stepped down owning moral responsibility for the fiasco at the elections. However the present wind sweeping across the Congress here cannot be seen to come anywhere near an attempt to revitalise the party, which has ruled the State for the greater period of time after Manipur attained Statehood. Rather it smacks of a wild rush for power and nothing more. The coming days can be interesting. If seven more Congress MLAs join the BJP led front then will this sound the Waterloo for the Congress in the State ? How will it impact on the oldest political party in the country when Manipur goes to polls in 2022 ? Or will Manipur see yet another of those days when former Chief Minister the late Rishang Keishing was the lone MLA on the Opposition bench before President’s Rule was imposed nearly 20 years back ? Speculations at the moment, but it should be more than clear that what the Congress MLAs are planning is something much more than abandoning a sinking ship. It could be taken to mean slapping the poll verdict of the voters on the face.