Interesting trip to Delhi with CM
Knocking at doors of BJP
It is the company that has made the trip to New Delhi more and more interesting. Perhaps this is the first time in recent memory that the Chief Minister of Manipur has deemed it necessary to take six former MLAs, all who have resigned from the Congress as well as the Assembly, on his trip to Delhi and making it more interesting is the presence of a kin of a former Chief Minister of the Congress among the six former Congress MLAs in the person of Okram Henry. Politics can certainly throw up interesting twists and turns and the presence of the nephew of former Chief Minister O Ibobi among the six MLAs to accompany N Biren to the Delhi could not have been just a trip to Delhi. The timing of the trip to New Delhi is also extremely interesting, given that Manipur is probably witnessing the peak in COVID-19 infection with at least 18 dead due to the virus and the State Technical Committee on COVID-19 already pronouncing that the first phase of community transmission in on in the State. The said Committee may not be the authority to proclaim community spread at a place or a region much less a State, but a powerful statement has already been delivered and it is at this juncture that the Chief Minister has deemed it opportune to take six former Congress MLAs on his trip to Delhi. Significant to note too that Chief Minister N Biren has met National BJP president JP Nadda during his trip to New Delhi and rest assured it could not have been just a courtesy call. The significance of the meeting with JP Nadda may perhaps be seen in the invite that has been sent to prominent BJP leader and Works Minister Th Biswajit and State BJP president S Tiken.
No official announcement as yet, but it must be clear to all. The New Delhi visit along with the Chief Minister could not have been anything less than knocking the doors of the BJP to enter the saffron party and contest the by election when it is announced. It is also not clear if all the six former Congress MLAs would be allotted the BJP ticket if and when by elections are held, but the first move has been initiated and much will depend on how well the ground situation is read here and fed to the BJP leaders at New Delhi. Interesting to note too that most of the former Congress MLAs made their way to the Assembly defeating the BJP candidates in the last Assembly elections in 2017. O Henry beat his next rival Y Erabot of the BJP in Wangkhei Assembly Constituency and P Brojen of Wangjing Tentha AC beat his nearest BJP candidate M Hemanta of the BJP. Save for Md Nasir from Lilong AC, the others had the BJP candidates coming in at the second spot. The interesting and significant question here is, whether the BJP candidates who were beaten in 2017 would easily make way for the six MLAs to come as the BJP candidates in the next hustings, whether in the by elections or the Assembly elections scheduled in the early part of 2022. The deciding factor will obviously be the winnability prospect of the intending candidates and with the BJP having come up with the Congress Mukt slogan, they will need to weigh the pros and cons carefully before throwing open their doors to the former Congress MLAs.