Understanding spirit of a coalition ; The missing link
Lacking the spirit of a coalition Government. This much is clear. What is not at all clear is what transpired in the meetings between the four NPP MLAs of Manipur and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, NEDA convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma and NPP leader and Chief Minister of Meghalaya Conrad Sangma at New Delhi recently. Everyone in Manipur will surely remember how the coalition boat was given a semblance of order after the four MLAs were whisked away to New Delhi to talk things over with BJP leaders with the NPP president in tow. It may not rock the BJP led coalition Government, but significant to note that not so long after the portfolios to be given to Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar were announced, after a number of portfolios were stripped from him earlier, the Deputy Chief Minister struck a discordant note, asserting that he is not interested in the portfolios allotted to him as his eyes are set on the Home portfolio. This was what was agreed upon during the meeting with Amit Shah at Delhi, said a close associate of the Deputy Chief Minister. The new development is interesting for this came merely a few days after Chief Minister N Biren on his return from New Delhi told the media that the BJP Central leaders do not interfere in internal matters such as alloting portfolios to the Ministers. A clear indication that there is a missing link somewhere and this is where it be may asked why Chief Minister N Biren was not invited when the meeting between the NPP legislators and the Union Home Minister was held.
What to give and what to take. This is the backbone behind any successful partnership, more so while running a coalition Government. Or to put it more precisely, how to lead a coalition Government and how to be a junior partner in a coalition Government. Has the BJP demonstrated that it knows how to lead a coalition Government ? Has the NPP shown that it knows how to be a junior partner in a coalition Government led by the BJP ? These are questions which only the two political parties can answer, but needlessly creating an atmosphere of political uncertainty is not what is needed, particularly when the people are reeling under the lockdown and the restrictions on their day to day existence, which has already taken a heavy toll on their economic activities. It is also important to question what the position of the other three NPP MLAs would be to the stand taken by the Deputy Chief Minister. Is it his stand alone or is he echoing the stand of the party which he represents in the Assembly ? The bottomline is, either side should know how a coalition Government functions and both should know how to be partners in a coalition Government. So while a member of the NPP has voiced his stand on the portfolios allotted to him, the NPF, another important partner in the coalition Government, has raised the demand for one more Ministerial berth. Will this also need the intervention of the NPF and BJP leaders from outside Manipur ? Funny it is that internal differences need to be sorted out by people from outside the State of Manipur. Welcome to Sanaleibak.