Interesting election to lone RS seat : Test of strength
Interesting. This is perhaps the first time in the last 15 or 20 years that election to the sole Rajya Sabha seat has evoked so much interest for two primary reasons. One obviously was the decision of the BJP to field the titular King of Manipur, Leishemba Sanajaoba for the election to the Upper House of Parliament and the other is obviously the sudden shift in the political alignment, triggered by the resignation of three BJP MLAs from the primary membership of the party and the Assembly, the decision of the NPP with four MLAs to desert the coalition camp led by the BJP plus the decision of the lone AITC MLA and an Independent MLA to switch side and throw their weight behind the Congress. The other is obviously over the uncertain fate of the seven MLAs against whom disqualification petitions have been filed by the Congress with the High Court of Manipur barring their entry into the State Assembly. With the Congress approaching the Governor to convene a special session of the Assembly so that a no-confidence motion against the ruling BJP led Government may be moved, election to the lone Rajya Sabha seat was seen as the first litmus test of the BJP led Government. A win or a defeat would have shown the numerical strength of the BJP in the Assembly and this would have served as the semi-final of the no trust vote. On June 19, the date the election to the lone Rajya Sabha election was scheduled, all eyes turned towards the Assembly and the drama that unfolded did not disappoint the numerous keen political observers and media persons, whose job it was to cover the news.
It was a day of drama and went much beyond the question of electing a candidate to the Rajya Sabha for obviously to many, particularly the BJP and the Congress, it was a sort of a confidence or no-confidence motion on the BJP led Government. As stated earlier here, till the time this commentary is being written down, vote count of the election was yet to start. There could be reasons for the long delay in the vote count and this could be due to representations submitted to statutory bodies such as the High Court, the Election Commission of India etc. This in brief are the circumstances under which election to the Rajya Sabha was held in Manipur evoking interests across the Nation, with prominent media houses in other parts of the country getting in touch with their contacts here at Imphal for needed information. The coming few days will be interesting for the wind may blow any direction, but the script which is responsible for predicting interesting days ahead, reads almost like cocking a snook to the sensibilities of the people. The disqualification issue surrounding some of the elected members of the House has arisen solely because there is just no respect for the verdict given by the people during election time. It is the same when rules and laws are interpreted and twisted according to one’s fancy and whims and it is this farce that was witnessed on June 19. Cocking a snook at the people and this is what is highly unpalatable.