High profile entry of two to BJP
In line with Congress Mukt ?
One is obviously past his prime while the other does not exactly qualify to be called a heavyweight, but yet their decision to switch sides was big, very big news with all the newspapers published in Imphal carrying their entry into the BJP as the lead news. Not surprising for remember N Mangi, the man from Kumbi Assembly Constituency, was for long synonymous with the CPI and it was him along with the late Ph Parijat and Dr M Nara who held aloft the flag of the Left in Manipur for years. At the same time it also stands that this is not the first time that N Mangi has switched political allegiance, as he was earlier with the BJP then joined the Congress and now again he has come back to the BJP, which in his own words and which has gone viral on the social media, is some sort of a ‘home coming.’ Not many would subscribe to this for like it or not, N Mangi shot into the political limelight as a CPI man and not as a member of either the Congress or the BJP. So from Communist Mangi to BJP Mangi to Cong Mangi to now BJP Mangi and difficult to say whether this would be the last leg in the journey of switching political allegiance or not, but already a significant point has been delivered. On the other hand, O Nabakishore is not a political stalwart by any stretch of the imagination, with his fame resting on the fact that he is the second person from amongst the Meitei community to have cracked the covetous civil service exams to become an IAS officer and go on to be the first Chief Secretary of Manipur from amongst the Meitei community. A personal decision it is to join the BJP and no one should have any reservations over this, but the fact is just the other day O Nabakishore was with the Congress and in fact contested the Lok Sabha elections in the Inner Manipur Parliamentary Constituency as a Congress candidate giving a close fight to RK Ranjan of the BJP who was eventually elected.
To the layman the decision of the two gentlemen to join the BJP may not have much of a bearing, for as stated earlier, one is seen to be a personality who is past his prime while the other is not yet a political heavy weight. However at the same time it may also be stated that the politics that went into luring the two to the BJP fold would have surely given a shot in the arm of Chief Minister N Biren and his men. The very fact that the two were with the Congress will also go down well with the BJP high command for the slogan Congress Mukt was coined with a reason. The timing of the ‘grand entry’ of the two personalities is also significant. With by elections to five Assembly Constituencies lined up on November 7 with the BJP having fielded four former Congress MLAs as its candidates, it would be interesting to see how the entry of the two gentlemen boosts the prospects of the BJP or erode the credibility of the Congress. It is this which Chief Minister N Biren and his men must be banking on for any high profile entry into any party is sure to go a long way in boosting the morale of the party workers. In a way the entry of the two high profile personalities will also give a boost to the Chief Minister and this may just help him in neutralising any voice of dissent that may be raised from within the party. So far no words have come from the Congress but to be sure the political game of baiting, enticing and encouraging desertion will figure during the campaigning of the by elections and how the Congress strive to capitalise on this will be known only when the campaigning picks up speed.