Interesting slanging matches Twist to ‘friendly contest’

    22-Dec-2021
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It is getting more and more interesting.  And what has added that extra zing are the remarks being tossed around among the partners in Government and not the pending showdown between the big two-the BJP and the Congress. Coated under the sweet sounding words ‘friendly contest’ or whatever phrase one may use,   what is interesting is to see and hear the snide remarks that are being tossed around for everyone to hear and read in the day’s papers. If the BJP has been talking of going it alone and urging the people to ensure a sole BJP Government, taking digs at the man from the NPP who incidentally holds the post of Deputy Chief Minister, this has only prompted the National People’s Party (NPP) to come out with the declaration that it would be a tough call for any party to repeat what the Congress managed in the 2012 Assembly election in winning 42 seats out of the 60 seats in the Assembly. Obviously the sharp exchange of words would come coated with the words ‘friendly contest’ so ultimately it may not have much of an impact when the time comes for Government formation. The Naga People’s Front (NPF) on the other hand has been pressing that the ADC Bill recommended by the Hills Area Council (HAC) be passed and this is one primary reason why some parts of the hill districts have been going on the offensive against the BJP in recent times. Call it a political ploy ahead of the Assembly elections, but by drumming up the ADC Bill, the NPF has managed to strengthen its presence more in the Naga dominated districts and this is something which would not have missed the ears and eyes of the Chief Minister and the BJP leaders of Manipur. HAC Chairman and NPF MLA K Leishiyo did not stop at the ADC recommended Bill but went so far as to claim that the hill districts continue to lag in basic infrastructure such as roads and connectivity, decrepit schools, abysmal power supply and rounded this off with the declaration that the people of the hills are denied their rights. All points worth considering and one cannot help but question what the respected HAC Chairman was doing in the past 4.5 years. Why weren’t these grievances raised earlier ? Or is it a case of political timing given precedence over the immediate needs of the people ? Let the people decide when they go to punch the button of their choice on the Electronic Voting Machine.
More than banters these are but it remains to be seen how far these ‘snide remarks’ can impact on Government formation if the verdict of the people does throw up a hung Assembly necessitating a coalition front. But it sure has added the needed masala to make the run up to the Assembly elections more spicy ! Other than the banters amongst the coalition partners, it is also interesting to see the ‘tall claims’ made by either the BJP and the Congress. So even as National spokesperson of the BJP Sambit Patra predicted that the saffron party will win at least 45 seats in the House of 60 with the State unit of the BJP Sarda Devi following this with a prediction of over 40 seats for the BJP, former Chief Minister and CLP leader Okram Ibobi predicted the return of the Congress to power. Tough to say which way the poll wind will blow, but it is interesting to see all the major political parties talking big and striking a pose of extreme confidence. Not audibly said but the line pre-poll talk, is etched in bold in all the tall claims made by each and every political party and this is not something new. To the keen political observers, who have been following the political developments for years here, the tall talks indulged in by all political parties will surely come as part of the colour that one generally associates with any Assembly election. What however has made the claims and counter claims more interesting this time is the banter and exchange of words amongst the coalition partners. One just has to recall how the BJP cobbled up a coalition Government with the support of the NPF with four MLAs, NPP with four MLAs, one AITC and one Independent after the 2017 Assembly election. Juxtapose the banters now with what really happened in 2017 and this is where the line, ‘in politics there are no permanent foes and no permanent friends’ becomes very significant.