Taking coalition partners along
Lessons from 2017
Coalition partners. Only time will tell whether the importance of coalition partners will be dictated by the sheer necessity of the number game or by the firm belief in reaching out to as many partners as possible while forming the Government. Early days yet, but this all significant question will be answered once results of the next Assembly elections start trickling in by the early part of next year. This is where the BJP seems to have done a better job with the understanding of taking coalition partners along and a relook at what happened after the 2017 Assembly elections will leave no one in doubt that it was the coalition partners which enabled the saffron party to go ahead and form the Government though the Congress had 28 MLAs in its kitty back then to the BJP’s 21 MLAs. The interesting question is whether the partners in the present BJP led coalition Government will go into the 2022 Assembly elections together as a united front, like say under the name of the NDA or leave it to the understanding of stitching up a post poll pact. Only time will tell, but it is important to remember that like in 2017, no party may be in a position to form the Government on its own without the support of others. This is where it will also become extremely interesting to see how the Congress reads the prevailing political reality though the possibility of striking up pre-poll pact with any of the significant players at the moment is something which must be beyond the grasp of not just the political observers but also to the Congressmen ! This is where the importance or significance of the other smaller political parties, but significant by any standard, will become all that more visible if the 2022 Assembly election sees a repeat of the 2017 Assembly election.
The reality says that like in the 2017 Assembly election, the fight will be crucially between the two primary political parties, the BJP and the Congress, but the importance of the other political parties is something which cannot be ruled out at all. With just four MLAs each, the NPP and the NPF emerged as two major political players after the 2017 elections and their importance is something which must have been acknowledged by the two major political parties. Being the party in power at both Imphal and New Delhi, it is the BJP which will be the party in the spotlight, marching ahead of the Congress with many aspiring ticket seekers. Not all will be or can be accommodated, this is for sure and there is high possibility that those who just missed out on a ticket from the BJP will seek to fight the election under the banner of other political parties. This is where the importance of the NPP can rise many notches, especially in the valley area. Choosing the right candidate can then become the first step towards success for the BJP. How well it chooses its candidates will be fundamental to the question of whether it can return for a second stint in power after 2022 election or not. Still a year away, but already poll fever seems to have caught up in many Assembly Constituencies, especially in Imphal, giving the perfect opportunity to many poll pundits to start reading the election crystal ball !