Crossing the Congress-BJP divide
Any principle behind the switch ?
At least give it to them. They first resigned from the Congress, quit the Assembly and then joined the BJP. This is about it. Nothing more but then could it have anything to do with a long vision on their political career ? This question is important for the BJP is on a high and seems set to be here for a long innings while the opposite seems to be true for the Congress. But can one see anything close to something called principle in the decision of the five former Congress MLAs to switch allegiance ? The answer is best left to the people who elected them as Congress MLAs and again those who will cast their votes when by election is held in the Constituencies left empty by the five gentlemen, to answer. It is for this very decision why The Sangai Express in an earlier commentary had observed that the visit to New Delhi by the five former Congress MLAs along with the Chief Minister was seen to be significant. It is not just about the five MLAs who have switched sides, but will also go some way in deciding the future of the two principal political parties in the country, the Congress and the BJP here. Perhaps this is where it would do good for the Congress to sit down and go in for serious self introspection on why it should start sinking just after 3.5 years of being out of power. It is also clear that to the five MLAs there is nothing called a responsible Opposition and this is a tragedy for the land and the people. Congress Mukt may be the slogan of the BJP, but to the people it stands that a strong Opposition is what is needed to keep the Government in check, or rather the political party heading the coalition Government in check.
This is not to say that this is the end of the Congress, but a clear message has been conveyed. It cannot go on taking the people for granted, which it did in the 15 years it was in power in Manipur. This is where it would be interesting to see if the Congress has learnt any lessons from the ugly situation it finds itself in today. Go in for a change, a big change, is the word that has been rung out and ironically this has come from five of its former MLAs. There could be others too within the Congress who would be more than ready to rock the boat to jolt the entrenched leadership within the party. For the BJP too, it should look beyond the five MLAs who have just switched sides and not go into endless rounds of back patting oneself for what is happening to the Congress right now can very happen to it too, if no lessons from the mistakes of the Congress are learnt. The political situation is certainly looking more and more interesting and the camp switch by the five former Congress MLAs may not be the last. What about those who contested as BJP candidates in the 2017 elections and narrowly lost to the five former Congress MLAs who are now with the BJP ? How will the BJP deal with them when the time comes for awarding the party ticket when by elections are held or better still when the Assembly goes for polls in the early part of 2022 ? This is where the political acumen of Chief Minister N Biren, State BJP president S Tikendra and other BJP leaders will be tested.